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Contributed articles are indicated by italics, authors of articles by small 

CAPS, and books and papers referred to, by quotation marks. 


Battle of Belington, The 119 

Belington, The Battle of 119 

Canals in Indiana 1 

Centennial Library and Building 25 

"Century of Indiana, A," Edward E. Moore, reviewed 87 

Chase, Salmon P., Letter from 123 

Clay, Henry, Letter from 121 

CoMSTOCK, Howard Payne, History of Canals in Indiana 1 

Constitution of Indiana, The Proposed, Jacob P. Dunn 100 

Coleman, Christopher B., The Development of State Constitutions. 41 

Coleman, C. B., A Question of Historical Accuracy 189 

Coleman, C. B., Reviews by 87, 136, 139, 141, 143 

CoTTMAN, George S. , History to Order 16 

CoTTMAN, George S., Old- Time Slu7ns of Indianapolis 170 

CoTTMAN, ViDA T., A Historical Sketch of Irvington, Ind 145 

"Delaware County History," by W. H. Kemper, reviewed 39 

Development of State Constitutions, Christopher B. Coleman 41 

Documents, Original: Letters of Salmon P. Chase, Henry Clay and 

Henry George 123 

George Rogers Clark Document, Two Indentures of Negroes 133 

Duncan, Judge H. C, Obituary Notice 31 

Duncan, Henry Clay, James Albert Woodburn 77 

Dunn, Jacob Piatt, The Word Hoosier 61 

Dunn, Jacob P., The Proposed Constitution of Indiana 100 

Dunn, Jacob P., Indiana^s Part in the Making of the Story of Uncle 

Toin^s Cabin 112 

Durham, James H., The Battle of Belington 119 

Editorial Notes 37, 86, 136, 194 

Eggleston, George Carey, The National Road 188 

Farming Machinery, Old-Time 166 

Finch, Judge Fabius M., Reminiscences of 155 

Fugitive Slave Case, An Important 23 

George, Henry, Letter of 123 

Greencastle Neivs2:>ai>er, An Early 195 

Historical Newspaper Articles, Index of 34, 82 

200 Indiana Magazine of History 

History to Order, George S. Cottman 16 

Iloosier, The Word, Jacob P. Dunn ' 61 

Indentures of Negroes, Two 133 

Indiana's Part in the Making of the Story of Uncle Tom^s Cabin, 

Jacob P. Dunn 112 

"Indianapolis and the Civil War," John H. Holliday, reviewed 141 

Indianapolis, Old-Time Slums of, George S. Cottman 170 

Irvington, Indiana, Sketch of, Vida T. Cottman 145 

Larrabee, Professor and '■'■Rosabower'''' 174 

Letters of Salmon P. Chase, Henry Clay and Henry Oeorge 123 

"Lincoln's Bodyguard," R. W. McBride, reviewed 143 

"Mad Anthony, Peace of," Frazer E. Wilson, reviewed 39 

McCuLLOCH, Ruth, Plymouth Church 89 

"Medical History of Indiana," by W. H. Kemper, reviewed 136 

Myers, W. H. , Old Tippecanoe 20 

National Road, The, George Carey Eggleston 188 

"Newton County History," John Ade, reviewed 139 

Old Tippecanoe, W. H. Myers 20 

Old Ferry Rates 169 

Parker, Benjamin S., Obituary Notice 32 

Parker, Benjamin S., Some Pioneer Fragments 166 

"Peace of Mad Anthony," reviewed 39 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis, Ruth McCulloch 89 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis, Junius B. Roberts 52 

Prox^osed Constitution of Indiana, The, Jacob P. Dunn 100 

Rafinesque, Life and Biography, T. J. Fitzpatrick 139 

Reviews of Books 39, 87, 136 

Roberts, Junius B., Plymouth Church, Indianapolis 52 

Slum Names of Indianapolis, George S. Cottman 170 

Some Pioneer Fragments, Benjamin S. Parker 166 

State Constitutions, Development of, C. B. Coleman 41 

Station of the Underground Railroad, A 64 

Superstitions, Old-Time 167 

Underground Railroad, A Station of the, W. D. Waldrip 64 

Venn, Florence, Index of Historical Articles in Indiana Newspa- 
pers 34, 92 

"Uncle Tom's Cabin," Indiana's Part in the Making of the Story 112 

Waldrip, W. D., A Station of the Underground Railroad 64 

Woodburn, James Albert, Henry Clay Duncan 77 


Vol. VII MARCH, 1911 No. 1 


Earlhavt College. 

"* I *^HE history of any country or nation will show that the 
^ arteries which carried the first thrills of civilization into its 
borders were the waterways. The natural waterways have ever 
been the first paths of pioneer exploration. America's rivers were 
thoroughly explored along the Eastern coast for the vain chance 
of finding a connection with the Pacific ocean, then unknown. 
After the early settlers came, they followed the rivers westward 
as much as they could. 

In the natural evolution of the settling of the country, we find 
the explorers pushing westward. "The discovery of a portage 
connecting two rivers leading into new regions was a most val- 
uable discovery for the French," [Johns Hopkins University 
Series, No. 21, Early History of the Wabash Trade Route, p. 11] 
who early used the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers in their ex- 
peditions to the Mississippi Valley in furtherance of their fur 
trade. Such a chain of natural passage was as but the kind act of 
Providence in furnishing them a means of opening up all the 
adjacent territory, without the hazards of an overland trail. 

The early routes from Lake Erie to the Mississippi basin were 
by means of the Ottawa river. Lake Nipissing, Green Bay, the 
Fox, Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, with two or three portages 
thrown in. Then a portage was established at the lower end of 
Lake Michigan, and this in turn yielded to the route from Lake 
Erie, down the Maumee, across a short portage to the Wabash 
river, then down this river to the Ohio and into the Mississippi. 
This trail became as well worn as a muskrat slide, numbers of 
which lined its banks. This became known as the "Wabash 
Trade Route," which was such an important factor in the devel- 

2 Indiana Magazine of History 

opment of the Old Northwest. French settlements sprang up 
along the route and later the French forts formed a strategic 
line of watchdogs against trespassing by the English. 

But the greatest need was the ability to cross from one natural 
waterway to another and thereby connect the various water 
routes that were being used. Where short portages existed this 
could be overcome, but there were many localities which would 
require many weary miles of portage and were practically pro- 
hibitive of accomplishment. Some artificial means of making 
such connections were constantly being planned, but none were 
put into practical operation. 

And to prove that the agitation for canals in the early history 
of our State was but a natural outcome of necessity and develop- 
ment, one has but to refer to the systems of the old countries of 
Europe. A natural evolution has been going on in all these 
countries, and we find to-day that the leading countries have had 
to resort to the artificial means of furnishing waterway trans- 
portation by making canals. "Comparative cheapness and facility 
with which goods may be conveyed by sea or by means of nav- 
igable rivers seem to have suggested, at a very early period, the 
formation of canals. From the best authenticated accounts of 
ancient Egypt, that country was intersected by canals." [Lalor, 
Encyclopedia of Political Economy, etc.. Vol. I, p. 331.] 

Canals, partly for irrigation and partly for transportation, have 
existed in China from an early period. The Italians were the 
first people in modern Europe to plan and execute canals. The 
Dutch in the Netherlands, and especially in Holland, have a net- 
work of canals, built above the fields that the water from inun- 
dations may be pumped into them and be carried away. France 
started a canal in 1605 and completed it in 1642. Thus, in the 
midst of our investigation of the causes for and the attempt to 
build canals in Indiana, we must not lose sight of the fact that 
there was feasibility about the whole matter. 

When Indiana came into the Union as a State in 1816, she 
brought with her the growing interest in the canal question. 
Governor Jennings, in 1818, made a fervent appeal to the Legis- 
lature to consider the question of a system of canals and roads. 

History of Canals in Indiana 3 

[Message, Jennings, 1818.] The State was becoming populated, 
and there was no natural outlet for the produce of the territory 
except to the southern markets. In this the counties along the 
Wabash and the Ohio were especially fortunate. 

At this early date the plan for a canal connecting Lake Erie 
with the Wabash was beginning to take definite shape. It began 
as a Federal enterprise, and, after much talk and spirited debate 
in the halls of both State and national legislatures, a bill was 
finally passed by the national Congress in 1824, [Ann. of Con- 
gress, 1823-4, p. 788; Vol. I, p. 1602] providing for a survey of 
the proposed canal with a grant of land ninety feet on either side 
of the right of way. The surveying was left to the State and was 
required to be finished within three years. Congress had some 
time previous to this granted to the State 3 per cent, on the 
sales of all public lands, "to be reserved for making public roads 
and canals." This was expected to form a nucleus for beginning 
the work. 

Government surveyors soon made their reports. Part of the 
territory through which the canal was to run belonged to Ohio, 
instead of all being within the limits of Indiana, as had been 
supposed. Therefore, the territory granted to Indiana by Con- 
gress and which lay in Ohio was authorized to be conveyed to 
Ohio. [U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. IV, p. 306.] The Indiana 
Legislature passed an act "providing means to construct the 
portion of the Wabash and Erie Canal within the State of 
Indiana." [Laws, Ind., 1829-30, Ch. 8, p. 13, Jan. 28, 1830.] This 
act provided for a board of commissioners elected by the House 
and Senate, on joint ballot, all vacancies to be filled by the 
Governor. The powers and duties of the commissioners were 
fully set forth. A supplemental act, [Laws, Ind., 1831-2, Ch. 1, p. 
3 to 9] January 9, 1832, accepted Joseph Ridgeway, Jr.'s location 
and estimate of the middle section of the canal, "to connect the 
waters of the Wabash river and Lake Erie, embracing the St. 
Joseph feeder, and the canal line thence to the Little river," The 
estimate of the entire cost was $1,081,970. The canal fund was 
constituted so that it would consist of moneys arising "from the 
sale of lands donated by the United States to this State for the 

4 Indiana Magazine of History 

construction of said canal." Thirty-two miles of the canal were 
placed under contract this year. 

By act of January 31, 1833, [Ind. Laws, 1832-3, Ch. 57, pp. 
48-51] the canal fund was to be deposited in bank and all loans to 
individuals were to be strictly prohibited. The remaining part 
of the middle section was to be put under contract. 

In 1834, [Ind. Laws, 1833-4, Ch. 14, pp. 49-54] a loan was 
authorized for $400,000 on a credit of forty years for the comple- 
tion of the Wabash and Erie canal ; but redeemable in whole or 
in part after twenty-five years at the option of the State, at not 
more than 6 per cent, interest. The contracts on the canal were 
directed to be let. A survey from Logansport to the mouth of 
the Tippecanoe river was ordered, as well as a survey of a route 
down White river. 

The agitation concerning the Ohio end of the canal was a 
source of worry to the Indiana enthusiasts. Ohio seemed to be 
very slow about taking up the proposition. Indiana, accordingly, 
February 1, 1834, [Ind. Laws, 1833-4, Ch. 152, pp. 359-360] 
passed a joint resolution by which she gave up claims to lands in 
the State of Ohio granted to Indiana by Congress, on the follow- 
ing conditions: 

1. The State of Ohio must construct, keep in repair, and main- 
tain a canal of given dimensions to remain a public highway. 

2. No excess toll would be exacted of this particular canal. 

3. Ohio must complete her portion before March 2, 1837. 

4. Ohio to accept these terms and conditions, and notify the 
Governor of Indiana by March 31, 1834. 

Ohio had started several improvements of her own, and she 
hesitated upon entering another huge undertaking. She finally 
accepted the compact of February 1, and the last of her surveys 
having been taken and the route settled, the contract for her por- 
tion was let in 1836. [Doc. Journal, No. 2, p. 2, 1837.] 

In the meantime Indiana had gone ahead in her work. The 
first ground was broken at Fort Wayne, [Cass County Times, 
Logansport, March, 1832] February 22, 1832, and by 1834, a 
"small part had been completed and the first canal boat launched. 
The first section of thirty-two miles, from Fort Wayne to Hunt- 

History of Canals in Indiana 5 

ington, was opened July 4, 1835." [House Journals, 20th Session, 
p. 12.] The cost of this portion was $232,000. [Cockrum, A 
Pioneer History of Indiana, p. 535.] 

It was at this stage of the game that Indiana began to grow 
reckless. During the period of the canal experiment, reports of 
the success of internal improvements in general in New York and 
Ohio began to make the people in Indiana anxious to keep in line. 
The sentiment seemed to prevail that if a little was a good thing, 
it would pay to take a long chance and do the thing up brown. 
Accordingly, in 1835, the result of the increased agitation became 
focused in the Legislature in the shape of the "Mammoth Bill," 
so-called because of the gigantic operations for which it pro- 
vided. In fact, it was a system of State-wide internal improve- 
ments, with an estimated cost of $5,910,000. These proposed 
works included an extension of the Wabash and Erie canal from 
the Tippecanoe river to Lafayette, and a perfect network of 
roads, turnpikes, canals, etc. The bill was left over till the next 
session in order to gather information concerning it. 

The summer campaign became wrapped up in the internal im- 
provement question. While the State was later accused of enter- 
ing foolhardily into something with her eyes shut, yet the ques- 
tion was discussed pro and con as no other question had been. 
The improvement issue was hard fought. Because of the fact 
that every part of the State was affected and interested in the out- 
come, no sectionalism could be sprung. The main question for 
final consideration was whether the new railroads would ever 
supercede the canals. That was where the difficulty lay, to be 
found out many years later. At that time the expense of operat- 
ing the crude type of locomotive seemed to shut out forever the 
possibility of the railroad becoming a dividend producer. 

The elections over and the Legislature in session the following 
winter, the question of internal improvements was transferred to 
the halls of the Legislature. On January 27, 1836, was enacted 
into law the famous Internal Improvement Act. [Laws, 1835-6, 
Ch. 2. Ind. Hist. Soc. Pub., Vol. II, p. 19.] This act provided 

6 Indiana Magazine of History 

1. Whitewater canal, and a connection between it and the 
Central canal by canal, if practicable, if not, by railroad. 

2. Central canal. 

3. An extension of the Wabash and Erie canal from the mouth 
of the Tippecanoe river to Terre Haute, and thence to connect 
with the Central canal. 

4. A railroad from Madison, via Indianapolis to Lafayette. 

5. A macadamized turnpike from New Albany to Vincennes. 

6. A railroad, if practicable, if not, a macadamized road from 
Jefifersonville, via New Albany and Salem to Crawfordsville. 

7. The removal of obstructions to navigation of the Wabash 
river, between its mouth and Vincennes. 

8. The Erie and Michigan canal or railroad. 

The bill went through the House with a vote of sixty-five to 
eighteen, and through the Senate by a safe two-thirds. The 
Speaker of the House had called attention to the seriousness of 
the act, and Governor Noble had recommended an expenditure 
of ten million dollars toward the improvement movement. [Doc. 
Journals, 1837-8; Gov. Message, Dec, 1836.] The bill, which 
met with the favor of public sentiment, created a Board of 
Internal Improvements, consisting of nine members, appointed 
by the Governor, three of whom should have their terms expire 
every third year. At this point one should consider the method 
of the work, so that an intelligent understanding of the progress 
of the work can be had. The method of appointing each com- 
missioner to superintend a certain portion of the entire system led 
to rivalry between them. Every one wanted his locality to be 
benefited first, and wanted the approval of his community by 
securing a speedy completion of his local part. Thus we can see 
the handwriting on the wall for the entire system. 

Cockrum, [Cockrum, Hist, of Ind., Ch. 23, p. 533] in his opening 
statement on the canal question, says : "If the wise counsel of 
Governor Hendricks in his message to the Legislature in 1822 had 
been followed, a great misfortune to the financial interests of the 
State would have been averted and a great many of the attempted 
improvements would have been finished and become paying 
properties, from which the State would have derived a handsome 

History of Canals in Indiana 7 

revenue, as other States, which were more careful in the construc- 
tion of their public works, did. Instead of attempting to con- 
struct ten or twelve expensive works at the same time, if there 
had been two or three of these carried to completion and placed in 
condition to be operated, all that were needed of the many which 
were attempted to be constructed would have been finished. It 
was proved to the satisfaction of all that many of these properties 
would have become paying investments." [Cockrum, Hist, of 
Ind., Ch. 23, p. 533.] 

However, the work went merrily on. The Wabash and Erie 
canal was completed to Wabash, July 4, 1837. The section be- 
tween Wabash and Peru was opened the same month. Logans- 
port was reached September, 1839, while the original terminus, 
the Tippecanoe, was reached in. 1841. [J. H. U. Series, No. 21, 
p. 56.] The bill of 1836 had provided for the extension of the 
Wabash and Erie canal from the mouth of the Tippecanoe to 
Terre Haute, one hundred and four miles, and the first section as 
far as Lafayette was finished July 4, 1843. The estimate of the 
entire extension was $1,500,000, but the total amount expended 
was only $408,855, no work being done below Lafayette. [Cock- 
rum, History of Indiana, p. 538.] 

The Whitewater Canal Company was incorporated January 2\, 
1826, [Laws, 1825-6, Ch. 21, pp. 29-36] with a capital stock of 
40,000 shares, of $25 each. Provisions were made for organizing, 
and the company was permitted to appropriate the lands and 
materials of other persons. The laborers on the canal were 
excused from all military duty. The canal was to start near 
Lawrenceburg, thence to the county of Wayne, and thence to the 
Wabash river near Fort Wayne. The width of the canal was to 
be at least forty feet at the bottom, and must be commenced in 
two years. This time was later extended. [Laws, Jan. 
23, 1827.] In the general improvement system bill of 1836, the 
Whitewater canal was taken up. 

The route was fixed as "connecting on the west branch of the 
Whitewater river, at the crossing of the National Road, thence 
passing down the valley of the same to the Ohio river at Law- 
renceburg, and extending up the said west branch of the White- 

8 Indiana Magazine of History 

water above the National Road as far as may be practicable ; 
also, a connection between the said Whitewater canal and the 
Central canal, by canal, if practicable ; if not, by railroad." 
[Laws, 1835-6, Ch. 2, p. 7.] An appropriation of $1,400,000 was 
made. Provision was made whereby, if Ohio should refuse to 
build that portion of the canal which ran within her limits, a 
railroad should be built along the State boundary between the 
two points. 

The little town buzzed with importance on September 13, 1836, 
when the contracts for the various sections were let, under the 
auspices of the State, at Brookville. By 1839, about one-half of 
the work between Brookville and Cambridge and the entire canal 
of thirty-one miles from Brookville to the Ohio river was com- 
pleted. The work cost $1,099,867, while the rents and tolls had 
been $9,902.41. [Laws, 1841-2, Ch. 8, pp. 37-45.] 

On January 20, 1842, the Legislature chartered the Whitewater 
Valley Canal Company, with a capital stock of $400,000. The 
State ceded her interest in the Whitewater canal because of the 
pecuniary embarrassment of the State of Indiana, which had 
caused an entire suspension of all operations on the canal for 
about two and a half years. Further reason was given as, "the 
cost of superintendence and repair upon that portion of said 
canal now finished, exceeds the entire income from both tolls and 
water rents, and is an annual tax upon the State Treasury, and 
likely to so continue, if left in its present condition, .... 
and, whereas, an immense amount of work done upon and 
materials supplied for the said canal are rapidly going to destruc- 
tion, and will soon be quite useless, unless said canal is soon com- 
pleted at a large additional expense." [Laws, 1841-2, Ch. 8, pp. 

The Whitewater Valley Canal Company took charge of the 
improvement, and, under the private enterprise, finished the canal 
through Laurel and Connersville as far as the National Road in 
Cambridge City in October, 1843. The total cost was $743,000. 
[Ind. Mag. of Hist, Vol. V. No. 4, p. 164.] The old canal can still 
be seen as one goes down the main street in Cambridge City. 

The Hagerstown Canal Company was incorporated February 

History of Canals in Indiana 9 

15, 1841. [Laws, 1840-1.] By 1847 this company completed the 
canal from Cambridge City to Hagerstown. We are told that 
this canal soon fell into disuse except "as a source of water 

The Central canal was to commence "at the most suitable point 
on the Wabash and Erie canal between Fort Wayne and Logans- 
port, running thence to Muncietown, thence to Indianapolis, 
thence down the West Fork of White river to its junction with 
the East Fork of said river, and thence by the most practicable 
route to Evansville on the Ohio." [Laws, 1835-6, Ch. 2, pp. 7-8.] 
Provision was made, however, that if more practicable, the board 
should "select the lower Pipe creek route in the line north from 
Indianapolis, then and in that case, a feeder shall commence at 
Muncietown and communicate with said Central canal at some 
convenient point on same. For the construction of which Central 
canal and navigable feeder, the sum of $3,500,000 is hereby appro- 
priated." [Laws, 1835-6, Ch. 2, pp. 7-8.] 

The Central canal was to be two hundred and ninety miles 
in length. The work was "completed from Broad Ripple to 
Indianapolis in the spring of 1839, and the water was turned into 
it. It was formally opened on June 27, 1839." [Indianapolis 
Journal, Aug. 12, 1900, p. 16, c. 4.] This was the only portion 
finished, though a "great deal of work was done between Indian- 
apolis and W'abashtown, and the canal was almost completed 
from Indianapolis to the bluffs of White river when the Board 
of Internal Improvements failed." [Ind. Mag. of Hist., Vol. V, 
No. 4, p. 165.] The canal was finally sold "for $2,400 to Shoup, 
Newman and Rariden, of New York, who assigned their purchase 
to one Cromwell, and a deed was made to him by the Legisla- 
ture." [Indianapolis Journal, Aug. 12, 1900, p. 16, c. 4.] After 
passing through several transfers, the Indianapolis Waterworks 
Company bought it, in whose possession it still remains, — a rem- 
nant and silent souvenir of one of the greatest movements that 
Indiana ever attempted for the public progress and prosperity. 

The Internal Improvement Act of 1836 further provided for a 
"survey and estimate to be made of a canal, if practicable, if not a 
railroad, from the Wabash and Erie canal at or near Fort Wayne, 

10 Indiana Magazine of History 

by the way of Goshen and South Bend, and Laporte, if prac- 
ticable, to Lake Michigan, at or near Michigan City, to be called 
the Erie and Michigan canal, or railroad; said route to be kept 
within the limits of the State. [Laws, 1835-6, Ch. 2, p. 9.] 

The Erie and Michigan canal never got much farther than the 
paper stage, for it was never completed. The Legislature pro- 
vided for a loan of not more than $10,000,000, on a credit of 
twenty-five years, at not more than 5 per cent, interest. [Laws, 
1835-6, Ch. 2, p. 9.] Several routes were surveyed and in turn 
rejected as infeasible. In the Auditor's report, October 31, 1852, 
the total expenditures made on the route was $160,708.87, At- 
tached to it was the laconic notation, "There have been no re- 
ceipts." [Doc. Journals, Reports, 1852, p. 87.] The only portion 
of the work available was the water power at the Northport 
feeder dam, which, by an act of the Legislature, was conveyed to 
Noble county for school purposes. [Doc, Journals, Reports, 1852, 
p. 87.] Thus ended that canal. 

The Eel River Crosscut canal, which was to extend from the 
Wabash and Erie canal at Terre Haute to the Central canal at 
the waters of Eel river, became a section of the Central canal. 

The report of the Auditor of State, October 31, 1852, was as 

follows : 


Central Canal, Northern division $ 889,067.94 

Erie and Michigan 160,708.87 

Wabash and Erie, east of Tippecanoe. . 3,055,268.97 

Wabash and Erie, west of Tippecanoe . . 1,245,290.54 

Eel River Crosscut, up to July 1, 1847 . . 436,189.88 

Central Canal, Southern division 575,646.49 

Wabash and Erie 9,169.94 

Total cost $6,371,342.63 


Central Canal, Northern division $ 20,756.00 

Wabash and Erie, east of Tippecanoe . . 1,174,61 1.83 
Wabash and Erie, west of Tippecanoe. 526,847.61 

Total receipts $1,722,215.44 

History op Canals in Indiana 11 

Excess expenditures over receipts 4,649,127.19 

Excess expenditures, Whitewater Canal 1,092.373.63 

Total excess of expenditures over 

receipts on these works $5,741,500.82 

The Legislature authorized the survey of the East Fork canal 
from Richmond, in Wayne county, along the valley of the East 
Fork of Whitewater to intersect the Whitewater canal at or near 
Brookville, in Franklin county. [Laws, 1836-7, Ch. 21, p. 74.] 
The Board of Internal Improvements were directed to use the 
State engineers on this survey, who were working on the other 
parts of the works of the State. 

Colonel Torbet, the engineer, in his report says: "Richmond, 
situated at the head of navigation, with its vast water power, ex- 
tensive capital and enterprising inhabitants, might become the 

Pittsburg of Indiana The stock subscription for this 

Richmond-Brookville canal was opened April 21, 1839. The Rich- 
mond Palladium of April 27, 1839, states that Franklin, Union, 
and Wayne counties had taken $215,000 worth of stock, of which 
$50,000 was taken by Richmond." [Laws, 1836-7.] 

Bids were let in 1839. About one and a half miles of excavation 
was made near Richmond, and some similar excavations were 
made near Fairfield. The only use made of any of this work 
was when Leroy Marsh erected a gristmill on one portion near 
Richmond. This mill was still in operation a few years ago. 

It is also interesting to note that in 1818, January 28, the Legis- 
lature incorporated the JeffersOnville-Ohio Canal Company. 
[Laws, 1817-8, Ch. 27, pp. 57-67.] The charter was granted 
because of obstructions in the Ohio river near the Great Falls. 
Right was also granted "to raise by lottery, a sum not exceeding 
$100,000, and the money thus raised (after defraying all the 
necessary expenses) shall be divided into two equal moieties," one 
moiety going to the State and by the State applied to the purchas- 
ing of the stock of the company, and the other moiety going to 
the company toward completing the canal. On January 22, 
1820, the State purchased two hundred shares of the capital 
stock of the company. [Laws, 1819-20, pp. 135-6.] 

12 Indiana Magazine; op History 

The Jeffersonville and New Albany Canal Company was incor- 
porated February 8, 1836, [Laws, 1835-6, Ch. 59, pp. 240-5] with a 
capital stock of $600,000, of $100 shares, with the purpose of 
"going around the falls of the Ohio river in the State of Indiana." 

The Wabash and Maumee Canal Company was another mush- 
room organization incorporated February 10, 1841, with a capital 
stock of $50,000, in $50 shares. [Laws, 1840-1, pp. 88-90.] This 
was organized to construct a "canal .... at a point where 
the Maumee and Barren creeks form a marsh in the county of 
Gibson, .... thence to a point on the Wabash river at or 
near the Crooked bayou." 

In the report of the engineer in 1835, we also find that a Michi- 
gan and Wabash canal had been proposed. The engineer gives 
the results of the surveys of the southern and northern routes 
for the proposed canal. [Doc. Journals, Reports, 1835.] 

Again, we find that the Warren County Canal Company was 
incorporated January 15, 1844. [Local Laws, 1843-4, Ch. 16, pp. 
31-35.] This company was given power to unite the Wabash and 
Erie canal with the Wabash river in Warren county. Nothing 
was ever accomplished. We find also that in 1828 the Legislature 
passed an "Act to establish a canal to connect the navigable 
waters of the Wabash river with the navigable waters of the 
Miami of Lake Erie." [Laws, 1827-8, Ch. 7, pp. 10-12.] 

Several minor companies tried to establish local canal proposi- 
tions, but they were all doomed to a premature death and are not 
worthy of mention. These many companies were never of any 
real import to the public weal. 

The State debt had increased to enormous amounts, and in 
1845 the State was confronted by two problems of vast and far- 
reaching importance, — that of completing the Wabash and Erie 
canal, and that of managing the State debt. [J. H. U. Series, No. 
21, p. 63.] These two problems were so interconnected that they 
needed to be settled together. 

In order to protect their interests, the dissatisfied creditors in 
both Europe and America appointed Mr. Charles Butler as their 
agent. He investigated the conditions and framed a plan where- 
by the bondholders might realize on their investments. "Pay us 

History of Canals in Indiana 13 

by your State tax and otherwise a portion of the interest on your 
public debt, and we shall be willing to look to the revenues of the 
canal (Wabash and Erie) for the balance," was his plea. [J. H, 
U. Series, No. 21, p. 65.] 

After the most strenuous effort on the part of Butler, the Legis- 
lature finally passed the "Butler Bill," [Laws, Jan. 16, 1846] as 
it was popularly called. It was in two parts. The State agreed 
to pay the interest and ultimately the principal of the one part 
out of taxation. The creditors agreed to look to the revenues of 
the Wabash and Erie canal for the interest and principal of the 
other half. {J. H. U. Series, No. 21, p. 71.] The canal was then 
turned over to a board of trustees, one of whom should be chosen 
by the Legislature and the other two by the bondholders. The 
provisions of the bill merely placed the canal in trust for the bene- 
fit of the bondholders and did not turn it over completely to them, 
as has erroneously been supposed. 

Mr. Charles Butler was chosen president of the board at its 
first meeting in May, 1847. The canal was formally turned over 
to the trustees July 1, 1847. [Doc. Journal, Part 2, No. 11, 1847.] 
In 1853 it was finished to its Ohio river terminus at Evansville, 
with a total length of 459 miles. The reports of the trustees show 
that the canal was prosperous from 1847 to 1856, but from the 
latter date the tolls began to diminish. In 1852, the tolls and 
water rents reached the high mark of $193,400.18. [Doc. Journal. 

In 1874 the canal was abandoned, and on February 12, 1877, the 
court ordered the canal to be sold in order to satisfy the suit of 
some Indiana bondholders. Speculators purchased the right of 
way and lands, but no attempt was made to repair and maintain 
the canal. [J. H. U. Series, No. 21, p. 87.] The canal became 
disused and ruined and soon became ossified as a money-making 

Many reasons have been advanced as to why the canal system 
failed. While local conditions entered into the question ; while 
the State attempted too many things at once and could thereby 
concentrate her efforts on no one improvement ; while the season 
of successful use of the canal for transportation was only about 

14 Indiana Magazine of History 

eight months of the year and therefore it must lie idle the rest of 
the time ; while the interference of storm and weather caused 
delays of weeks at a time, thus proving a great annoyance and 
often a money loss ; while all these things tended to work against 
the success of the canal, yet with it all we can see that the canal 
v/as but one step in the evolution of the transportation facilities 
of the country. It was a cog in the wheel of progress. 

The canal was no longer sufficient to meet the needs of business 
activities. The railroad era begun to dawn. The WaTbash and 
Erie canal was paralleled by the Wabash railroad. Products 
could be transported cheaper, swifter, and with less likelihood of 
delay, by the railroads than by water. Competition has ever en- 
couraged speed, safety and cheapness in transportation, and the 
canal era was doomed from the economic standpoint. 

As an illustration of the growth in the means of transportation, 
the writer was vividly impressed in a recent visit to the little town 
of Andrews, situated midway between Huntington and Wabash. 
In his boyhood days he used to play along the old towpath border- 
ing the half-filled portions of the Wabash and Erie canal which 
ran parallel to the Wabash river. On the opposite side of the 
river ran the Wabash railroad. On the recent trip, he reached his 
destination by riding on a through car of the Wabash Valley 
Traction Company. The track of this line was built on the old 
towpath of the canal. There lies the representation of a history 
itself. The river is still doing business at the old stand, but is no 
longer used at that point for transportation in boats and canoes, 
as was the case in the days of the pioneers. The old canal bed can 
still be discerned at points as a memoir to the early struggle for 
development of the State. The railroad [Wabash Valley Railroad 
completed to Lafayette, June 20, 1856. J. H. U. Series, No. 21, p. 
78] is a living monument to one of the prime essentials of the 
nation's prosperity. 

As a final step in the present methods of easy and convenient 
transportation, especially in a local way, the traction line is plying 
its business upon the crumpled ruins of the almost forgotten canal 
beds. In this evolution, the survival of the fittest takes place as 

History of Canals in Indiana 15 

in all other lines, and the fittest is that which meets the existing 
needs of the country. 

Recent agitation has sprung up for a new canal system. The 
first annual convention of the Indiana Branch of the Rivers and 
Harbors Congress met at Indianapolis, January 21 and 22, 1908, 
for discussion on this project. This is a question in itself, how- 
ever, and, like the railroad question, cannot be treated in this 
paper. "There are two things to be kept in mind in regard to this 
agitation," said Governor Marshall in an interview with the 
writer, "and they are: (1) you must have a ditch of the proper 
dimensions before business can be transacted, and (2) you must 
have the water to fill it." That is the essence of the situation. 
In this question, the conservation of natural resources will play a 
prominent part. It is reasonable to suppose that, with the de- 
forestation of the State, the length of seasonable navigation will 
be apt to be less than it was in the forties and fifties. An appro- 
priation bill in the United States Congress for a canal connecting 
Lake Michigan and Lake Erie was recently defeated, though this 
is the most favorable and reasonable canal that Indiana could 

Thus we have traced the history of the canal era in the State 
of Indiana from its conception, through its inauguration, through 
its many trials, failures and partial successes. We have seen the 
mistakes that were made and the "what might have beens," and 
we have noticed that the downfall was certain. And yet, we 
should not say that the canals were a complete failure. On the 
other hand, let us rather compare them to the outgrown dress of 
the State's growth and development. 



IT is pretty well understood by those who have undertaken it 
that the attempt to write honest and useful history on a com- 
mercial basis, as most literature is supposed to be produced, is 
worse than discouraging. One is not even in the category with 
the poet and the philosopher in this respect. If these rise above 
a certain standard they stand a chance of a recognition that 
means remuneration, for there is really a large sprinkling of 
people who know good poetry and good philosophy. The dis- 
crimination as to values in history is by no means so wide. Read- 
ableness is the first requisite ; truth is quite secondary, and hence 
there is slim chance for a money compensation commensurate 
with the historian's slow, onerous toil as he burrows mole-like 
through documentary darkness. Hence, again, it is that a large 
proportion of our writers of histories (meaning reputable his- 
tories) are men who can "afiford" to indulge their talent. Either 
they are blessed with a competence which places them above the 
daily needs, or, as more frequently happens, their history is, so to 
speak, a by-product of a paying vocation that is tributary to it, 
such as a chair of history in a college. It is to such as these that 
we must, as a rule, look for our painstaking, searching studies 
that require time with nothing to distract, and that do not demand 
direct compensation. He who does not enjoy some such advan- 
tage, no matter what his aptitude, is, to say the least, sadly handi- 
capped and crippled. One does not have to go beyond the local 
field to find this illustrated. The father of Indiana history, John 
B. Dillon, managed to produce one book that will give him a 
place of honor in our annals so long as those annals survive. The 
price he paid for his work makes him the most pathetic figure in 
our history. A gentle, kindly, lonely old man, who never knew 
wife or child, he died in a barren room wholly alone and with 
every evidence that worry and want, and even the need of food 
and medicines hastened his departure. Not Otway's starving in 

History to Order 17 

his garret was more tragic. William Wesley Woollen's book of 
biographies, which has never been adequately appreciated, was a 
labor of love that never paid the printer. If there has been one 
Indiana writer more than another whom nature intended for a 
historian of the higher order, it is Jacob Piatt Dunn. His histor- 
ical output for years has been two or three volumes and a few 
intermittent short studies worked out as other business permitted. 
In contributions of a yet more local character, an occasional 
reminiscent pioneer, with a genuine interest in the times of which 
he was a part, has made some contribution of real value, but these 
too, have all been works of love. 

And yet in spite of all this, we find that the publishing of local 
history goes industriously and prosperously on, as any one may 
see if he will but consult certain fast-filling shelves in the State 
Library, where the gilt-edged, opulent-looking tomes are being 
added just now with particular rapidity. In short, there are at 
least two large publishing companies, each with an organized 
corps of men in the field, whose business it is to see that every 
(paying) corner of our fair State be rescued from oblivion. The 
State is worked by counties, and the counties selected are, natur- 
ally, those richest not in historic interest but in wetl-to-do farmers 
and hustling, booming business men. To the publishers the his- 
torical portion of the work is, as a rule, less than secondary, its 
chief value being its service in giving title and pretense to the 
book. Occasionally there is found in a county an old-time res- 
ident who is competent to write a history of it, of more or less 
value, but where such a chronicler is not available a stock man or 
professional compiler is put into the field who has a happy faculty 
for scraping together fragments and rounding them into readable 
form in the expeditious style of one who can make good as a 
space-filler. A manager of one of these firms informs me that he 
has a man of this sort who is a "cracker jack." A short sojourn 
in any locality, be it in Indiana or Maine or California, is all that 
is necessary in order for him to write a "history." The gentleman 
so boasting was quite innocently unconscious of any absurdity on 
his part. His sense of fitness was much like that of the hustler 
engaged in the business of publishing religious books who, with 

18 Indiana Magazine of History 

an eye to something popular, called for a "bright and snappy life 
of Christ." His' idea of a history was the loose, unconfirmed local 
traditions compiled in undigested form with a view to readable- 
ness and flattering appeals to prospective purchasers of the work. 
Evidently he had no idea whatever of what a local history ought 
to be, of the exact relation between its value and its truthfulness, 
and of the difficulties in getting at the truth. He knew nothing, 
evidently, of the arduous search for light and sources that must 
attend even so small a thing as the history of a county ; of the 
ransacking of courthouses, of the careful sifting of material and 
the trained historic judgment requisite to pierce to a historic 
truth or probability. He knew nothing of historic values and 
probably cared less, for they were not in his line, which was to 
publish a book for money. I am not blaming him any more than 
I would blame that other man for wanting the "snappy life," and 
I only cite him to illustrate how difficult it is for poor Clio to 
come unto her own, and what ignominy she has to suffer. 

But, as said above, these histories are but a secondary part of 
the work that are issued in their name. A history of a locality, 
no matter what its quality, commands more interest than a mere 
book of indiscriminate biographies, but the biographies are, from 
the publishers' viewpoint, the all-important part of the work and 
the history merely a floater. The foundation of the whole pub- 
lishing scheme is a certain pitiful human vanity out of which the 
shrewd publisher makes capital. The select four hundred of his 
grouping are those who, for the sake of a page or so about them- 
selves, will subscribe for the work at a figure ranging, I am in- 
formed, from ten to twenty dollars. How adequately a com- 
munity is represented by a discrimination so determined may be 
imagined. On the theory that every man is more or less a human 
document, even this kind of biography, however, might be of 
value if it were done with an honest regard for truth, but our 
astute publisher doubtless knows better than to invalidate his bus- 
iness by harboring senseless ideals. He is skilled psychologist 
enough to know that what his patrons hunger and thirst for first 
of all is something flattering — something that will hypnotize a 
man into the belief that he is in the public eye, that will make him 

History to Order 19 

feel good while he is alive and look well after he is dead. The 
corps of workers is trained accordingly. The man who does the 
interviewing collects from the subject all the nice things that he 
can and the man who writes the "biography" from these works in 
the "taffy" with the touch of an artist. The direct, dignified style 
that obtains in a high class biographical work would not be 
tolerated for a moment. Stock virtues and honors are tacked onto 
the subject wherever possible. He must by all means be a 
"prominent citizen," and the merits monotonously attributed to 
him are such as folks on a certain plane think everybody ought 
to have. 

Lest, however, a continuance of the subject should lead me into 
crotchets, it may be as well abruptly to discontinue it. After all, 
there is no remedy to be suggested, and it may be that after a 
fashion the commercial history publisher is doing a sort of service. 
I only wished to call attention to history "as she is wrote." 



ON last Decoration Day, when the whole country was paying 
its homage to the dead heroes, I visited the tomb of General 
William Henry Harrison, at North Bend, Ohio, and was grieved 
at the lack of attention this great man received. 

Here was the grave of the ninth President of the United States 
— the great warrior who whipped that cunning Indian leader, 
Tecumseh, at Tippecanoe, and forever broke up the Indian 
depredations in this territory. 

There were no flowers, not even a flag, until the writer placed a 
small one in a crevice of his old-fashioned brick vault. 

It is a shame that this once beautiful spot should be so sadly 
neglected and forgotten. 

The old vault is fast falling into decay. It is overgrown with 
rank weeds, that are not even cut. Surely such is not a fitting 
resting place for a President of the United States — a great Indian 
fighter — a governor of the great Northwest Territory — the man 
who made it possible for the white settlers to remain in this 

This tomb is located on a commanding knoll at North Bend, 
Ohio, in full view of the site of his famous old "Log Cabin" resi- 
dence. It is an ideal place for a magnificent monument that 
would commemorate this great man, but here it is practically 
neglected and uncared for, seemingly forgotten. 

Unless you were acquainted, you would not know who rested 
therein. There is not a single mark on the tomb so to indicate. 

As a boy I always had a great deal of admiration for "Old 
Tippecanoe," and how my boyish heart would swell with pride 
when the steamboats on the Ohio river would salute as they 
passed by. It has always been my wish and desire to see his 
burial place surmounted by a suitable monument, but it would 
appear that the country has entirely forgotten him. 

Is is time that the people of the United States be advised of this 

"Old Tippecanoe" 21 

state of affairs and brought to a proper realization of the debt 
they owe General Harrison, particularly the people of Ohio, 
Indiana and Illinois. 

This historical spot should be preserved. Many others with 
not half the wealth of history have been taken in hand by the 
government and societies, but this one remains unnoticed. 

Close by this tomb was established the first settlement between 
the Miami rivers, in the great Symmes Purchase. Symmes City 
was founded in 1788 by Judge John Cleves Symmes, who pur- 
chased the territory between the two Miami rivers. 

Just to the west is that famous old landmark, Old Fort Hill, 
with its ancient fortifications, erected long before the Indian, at 
the mouth of the Great Miami. 

Just to the east, along Indian Creek, are the ruins of the first 
grist mill erected in this territory. 

Along the brows of the adjacent hills are the remains of the 
immense apple and peach orchards set out by General Harrison. 

This, the scene of many a bitter battle between the white set- 
tlers and the wily red man, seems to have been forgotten entirely ; 
all over the country we see historic spots made into parks, yet 
this passes neglected. 

The commanding site of this old tomb could not be better 
adapted for a fitting tribute to the memory of "Old Tippecanoe." 
It is a beautiful knoll, were it put in shape, with the broad Ohio 
river at the foot. Here the river makes a grand sweep to the 
south. Standing on this knoll, you can see up this beautiful valley 
for five miles, and down the river for two miles. It is one of the 
most picturesque spots I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. 
It is within easy distance of Cincinnati, and can be reached by 
electric trolley and two railroads. It would be an ideal place for a 
national park. 

President Harrison rests in a common brick vault with a rusty 
iron door, with several members of his family, one of them being 
John Scott Harrison, his son, the father of Benjamin Harrison, 
President of the United States, but there is not a single thing to 
inform the public that he lies within. 

Near by, in the "Old Congress Green," lie the remains of Judge 

22 Indiana Magazine op History 

John Cleves Symmes and other members of President Harrison's 

To the east stood the famous "Log Cabin" of General Harrison. 
Some of the old orchard trees are still standing, and the writer 
picked a green pear from one of them recently. To the north, in 
the present limits of the village of Cleves, are the remains of the 
mansion of Judge Symmes, facing the Great Miami river. 

General Harrison stood high in the esteem of his countrymen. 
The Legislature of Kentucky, after the battle of Tippecanoe, 
passed the following resolution : 

"Resolved, That Governor Harrison had behaved like a hero, a 
patriot and general, and that for his cool, deliberate, skillful and 
gallant conduct in the battle of Tippecanoe, he well deserves the 
thanks of the nation." 

General Harrison was distinguished by a generosity and liberal 
feeling. With ample opportunity for amassing immense wealth, 
he disdained to use his public situations for private emolument. 
He was too rigidly honest to permit himself to engage in specula- 
tion, and his chivalry was too sensitive to permit him to use the 
time belonging to his country for private benefit. After nearly 
fifty years' devotion to his duties, for the good of his country, he 
left at his death but little more to his family than the inheritance 
of an unsullied reputation. 

Why then should not the people of this great and glorious 
nation, for whom he devoted his life, remember him in a fitting 
manner? It has built magnificent monuments to less deserving. 


AN interesting pamphlet has recently been secured by the State 
Library, entitled, "The South Bend Fugitive Slave Case, in- 
volving the Right to a Writ of Habeas Corpus," published at New 
York, and "For sale at the Anti-Slavery Office, 48 Beekman St.," 
dated 1851. The immediate occasion of the pamphlet was a suit by 
George Norris, of Boone county, Kentucky, against Leander B. 
Newton and others, of South Bend, Indiana. From the pamphlet 
it appears that George Norris claimed to have been the ov/ner 
of a negro, David Powell, and his wife, Lucy, and their children. 
According to his story, these negroes, who had been allowed 
large freedom of movement, disappeared on October 9, 1847, 
After searching for them in various places in Indiana, Norris 
claimed to have discovered them living in a negro settlement in 
Michigan. Norris and his associates surprised the family in the 
absence of the man and took the woman and three sons and 
drove off with them. At South Bend the party was overtaken 
by pursuers, who secured and served a writ. In the trial before 
the county court by which the writ was issued, the negroes were 
ordered released. Meanwhile, however, Norris had secured a 
writ from the United States court and held the negroes prisoners 
by force and display of weapons until they were taken into cus- 
tody. Action was then brought against Norris for this display 
of arms and threats (this action was afterward dismissed) and 
a writ of habeas corpus for the release of the negroes secured, 
and the next court day, Norris failing to appear, the local court 
ordered the negroes released, which was done in the presence of 
all the other interested parties. 

Norris later (December 21, 1849) brought suit in the United 
States Circuit Court, District of Indiana, against Leander B. 
Newton and others, of South Bend, these parties being those 
involved in the release of the negroes on writ of habeas corpus, 
to recover damages for the loss of the negroes. The case was 
tried before Judge McLean in May, 1850, and, in accordance with 
the instructions of the judge, the jury returned a verdict of $2,856 

24 Indiana Magazine of History 

damages against the defendants. The pamphlet utters a vigor- 
ous protest against this decision and the principles involved in it. 
Added interest is given the case by the fact that it occurred dur- 
ing the agitation and discussion that led up to the Compromise 
of 1850, one of the more important items of which was the Fugi- 
tive Slave law, compelling the Federal officials to take charge of 
the return of fugitive negroes and putting the whole matter 
almost entirely into the hands of the Federal courts. 


1. The statement of the case. A circular issued by the State 
Librarian and the Indiana Historical Society. 

STATEHOOD — 1816-1916. 

Indiana ought to celebrate the centennial of her admission as 
a State in 1916. Everybody admits that, but how? Expositions 
are overdone, and nearly every recent one has been a costly fail- 
ure. Moreover, they are temporary only — a sensation for a few 
weeks, and then only a memory. Why not celebrate by a per- 
manent memorial monument of some kind? 

The State Capitol is badly overcrowded by its permanent occu- 
pants. The Legislature is hindered in its work by want of 
committee rooms. This trouble increases yearly as the State 
grows. Why not make the centennial memorial monument a 
building that will relieve the pressure on the Capitol? 

The two things in the State Capitol most easily removed, and 
least connected with the business offices, are the State Library 
and the State Museum. The}^ occupy more room than any other 
departments, and yet they are so crowded that they have been 
forced to refuse donations. They are devoted to the preservation 
of the history of the State — one its written history, the other its 
battle-flags, historical relics of war and peace, etc. Why not 
make the Centennial Memorial Building a place for these two, 
and build up a great free historical museum for the people of the 
future ? 

By adopting this plan we shall always have something to show 
for our money, instead of having a legacy of debt to wrangle 
over, as has been the case with most recent expositions. We will 
have something that will be a perpetual source of pleasure and 
profitable information to all visitors to the State's capital. Can 

26 ^ Indiana Magazine op History 

you think of anything that would be more lastingly popular? 
Then why not? 



Whereas, There is a general feeling of the citizens of the State 
that Indiana should appropriately celebrate the centennial anni- 
versary' of her admission to the Union, and the great significance 
of this event is historical ; and 

Whereas, The State's chief agencies for the preservation of 
her history are the State Library, in which are preserved the 
printed and written records of her history, and the State Museum, 
in which are preserved the battle-flags and other mementoes of 
the deeds of her people in war and peace, the specimens of her 
native flora and fauna, and other historic material of great inter- 
est to the people of the State ; and 

Whereas, In the overcrowded condition of the State Capitol 
both of these institutions are impeded in their proper work, and 
in some cases have been obliged to refuse donations, on account 
of lack of space for their care, of material that is liable to be lost 
for lack of place of keeping; 

Resolved, That the General Assembly be requested to prepare 
for such centennial celebration by provision at its coming session 
for an adequate permanent building, on grounds adjacent to the 
State Capitol, for the housing of the State Library and State 
Museum, and other agencies devoted to the preservation of his- 
torical material. 

Resolved, further. That all citizens of the State who believe 
that Indiana has a history in which her people may take a just 
pride and who feel that it should be carefully preserved and 
handed down to all future generations, be requested to use their 
influence now to have such preparation made that said proposed 
Centennial Memorial Building may be erected and prepared for 
dedication by December H, 1916. 


Indiana is replete with natural resources such as attract the 
man with limited capital. Indiana has invited investment in 

Centennial Library and Museum Building 27 

brick, tile, stone, cement, coal and pottery plants, all drawing 
their raw materials from our State's inexhaustible store, and, 
with few exceptions, these investments have given good returns. 

The advertising encouragement and impetus given these in- 
vestments are largely the work of the Department of Geology 
and Natural Resources of the State of Indiana. Along with the 
economic phase of the work, a proper balance has been main- 
tained with the scientific or scholastic demands of the State. 
Extensive surveys of the natural history of the State — the fauna 
and flora — have been maintained, and there are now in progress 
exhaustive surveys of soils and water-power sites of the State, 
w^hich will be completed in the next two to four years. 

The soil survey will be of greatest importance to the farming 
interests of the State, and the water-power problem, when com- 
pleted, will be of inestimable value to the people generally. 

With all of this, the Department of Geology, and the State 
Museum — the people's greatest advertising mediums for its nat- 
ural resources — are inadequately supplied with room for the 
proper conduct of its work. Hundreds and thousands of dollars' 
worth of maps, charts, plates, records and specimens, that should 
be properly displayed or made a part of the State's permanent 
history, are now stored in the basement of the State House for 
want of room and space where people can see and examine them. 

For the above reasons and many others we could give, there 
is an imperative necessity for a suitable building adjacent to the 
State House for the housing of the Department of Geology and 
the State Library. From an economic standpoint, if from no 
other, the State can well afford to invest in additional room for 
these departments, and we urge the present Legislature to appro- 
priate the means to bring this about. Edward Barrett. 


Resolved, That the Wayne County Historical Society heartily 
concurs in the movement for the erection at Indianapolis of a 
suitable building, at the State's expense, for the accommodation 
of the State Library, and the the several educational, historical 
and scientific associations of the State; and 

28 Indiana Magazine of History 

That we deem the time opportune and the need urgent enough 
to demand its immediate and careful consideration by the Gen- 
eral Assembly. 


The History Club of Indiana University passed the following 
resolution : 

As an appropriate method of celebrating the one hundredth 
anniversary of Indiana's admission to the Union, a Memorial 
Building should be erected by the State in Indianapolis, which 
will serve as the Library Building and Historical Museum, for 
the sake of preserving all the documents, papers and materials 
relating to the history of Indiana that may come into the posses- 
sion of the State. Such a building, with its library equipment, 
would be a valuable educational center and a resort for students 
engaged in research. 

Similar resolutions have been passed by the Indiana Library 
Trustees' Association, Indiana State Federation of Women's 
Clubs, Indiana Library Association, Indiana State Board of Edu- 
cation, and many others of the historical and scientific societies 
of the State. 

Indiana is behind other States in the preservation of its history 
and in the care of its valuable relics and specimens of its natural 
resources. Other progressive States have already erected build- 
ings for this purpose. Wisconsin has spent more than a million 
dollars on its State Historical Library Building; Connecticut 
has a new State Library Building; the New York State Library 
and Educational Departments will soon move into a $4,000,000 
building; Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa have either finished or are 
now finishing similar structures ; the Pennsylvania State Library 
and Museum now have possession of the former State Capitol. 
The time is opportune for Indiana to provide for its Library and 
Museum. To do this by 1916, the present Legislature must take 

De;marchus C. Brown, C. B. Coleman, 

State Librarian. J. P. Dunn, 

C. W. MooREs, 
Committee of the Indiana Historical Society. 

Centennial Library and Museum Building 29 

2. The law providing for the first step toward the building. 

A Bill for an Act Relating to the Celebration of the One-Hun- 
dredth Anniversary of the Admission of the State of Indiana 
into the Union by the Construction of a State Educational 

[Read the third time in the Senate and passed, February 7, 
1911; ayes V? , noes 6. Passed with amendments in the House, 
passed as amended in the Senate, and signed by the Governor on 
March 1, 1911.] 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State 
of Indiana, That there is hereby created a commission composed 
of five members as follows : 

One holdover Senator appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor; 
one Representative appointed by the Speaker ; the State Libra- 
rian, and two members appointed by the Governor. This com- 
mission shall be known as the Indiana Centennial Commission. 

The members of the commission shall serve without compensa- 
tion, but shall be allowed their necessary expenses while engaged 
in the business of the commission. 

Any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled by 
appointment by the Governor, and any member may be removed 
by the Governor for cause. 

Sec. 2. Within sixty days after this act takes eflfect, the com- 
mission shall meet, on the call of the Governor, at the State Capi- 
tol, and shall organize by electing a chairman and a secretary 
from among their number. 

Sec. 3. It shall be the duty of the commission to formulate 
plans for the celebration of the centennial of the admission of 
Indiana into the Union by the erection of a State building and its 
dedication in 1916, to be known as the Indiana Educational Build- 
ing. The plan of such building shall provide for the proper 
housing of the State Library and Museum, Public Library Com- 
mission, and the educational and scientific offices of the State. 

Sec. 4. The commission shall have the power to determine 
upon a site for such building; to take options upon the property 
necessary for the location of the building, and for the necessary 

30 Indiana Magazine of History 

grounds surrounding such building, and bind the State for the 
payment of such options. 

Sec. 5. The commission shall invite the competition of archi- 
tects in the formulation of plans, and shall for that purpose adver- 
tise the fact that the commission is considering plans for a State 
Educational Building, in at least two newspapers of general cir- 
culation, for a period of two weeks, specifying the maximum cost 
of such building. The commission is empowered to employ such 
clerical assistants as may be necessary. 

Sec. 6. The commission shall report to the General Assembly 
at its session in 1913, setting forth in detail the location of the 
proposed building and the cost of the grounds for such location, 
and the plans which may have been submitted for such building 
and the approximate cost thereof, together with recommenda- 
tions as to the choice of the plans for such building, the ways and 
means for its construction, and such other matter as may aid the 
General Assembly in making the necessary appropriations and 
providing for the construction thereof by the commission, and 
its dedication in 1916 on the occasion of the centennial of the 
admission of Indiana into the Union. 

Sec. 7. When the plans shall have been approved by the Gen- 
eral Assembly and the necessary appropriations therefor have 
been made, the commission shall proceed to purchase the neces- 
sary grounds and to construct such building in such a manner 
and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the General 

Sec. 8. Said commission shall consult with the board of park 
commissioners of the city of Indianapolis, and the board of com- 
missioners of the county of Marion, as to the purchase by the State 
of Indiana, the city of Indianapolis and the county of Marion of 
any real estate for such educational building and grounds, and accept, 
subject to the approval of the next General Assembly of the State, 
tentative proposals as to the proportional share of the cost of such 
property and the ownership thereof when so purchased, and shall 
report the same to the next General Assembly for its ratification or 

Sec. 9. The sum of $1,000, or so much thereof as may be nec- 
essary, is hereby appropriated to carry out the provisions of 
this act. 


THE papers of the State announced the sudden death of Judge 
H. C. Duncan at his home in Bloomington, on January 30. Judge 
Duncan was one of the most widely known and respected citizens 
of Monroe county, and probably engaged longer in the practice of 
law there than any one else in the county. He has long been active 
in all public interests. He served in the army during the Civil War 
and has been at the head of the local interests of the Grand Army 
of the Republic. 

In historical circles, Judge Duncan is known as one of the 
leaders in the Monroe County Historical Society. He contributed 
an article upon Austin Seward to the September, 1908, number 
(Vol IV, No. 3) of this magazine, and a year later an article of 
his upon Judge James Hughes (Vol. V, No. 3) was published. In 
both of these papers Judge Duncan showed a knowledge of the 
local history of the State and a sympathetic understanding of a 
type of life that is passing away among us, together with a liter- 
ary skill that made him an honored member of the guild of his- 
torians. His death leaves us the poorer in the ability to recall and 
to describe the earlier life of our country. 


THE death of Benjamin S. Parker at his home in Newcastle on 
the 14th of March has taken from us one of the most honored 
contributors of this magazine. Mr. Parker has been more widely- 
known for his poetry than for his interest in historical matter, but 
there are few men in the State who have had a deeper interest in 
our local history or have done more to advance its study and 
preservation. He himself has written quite a little on this theme. 
His articles upon Pioneer Life in each of the four numbers of the 
Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History of Vol. IH, 1907, and his 
sketches of Pioneer Features in the first number of Vol. IV, 1908, 
will be recalled by all our readers for their lively description of 
Central Indiana more than a half century ago. Mr. Parker was 
born in Henry county, February 10, 1833, and spent most of his 
life there. He retained a vivid recollection of manners and cus- 
toms as well as of people. He was vitally interested in everything 
about him. He never courted popularity or fame, but always 
showed the most unaffected sympathy with the life about him. 
He lived in close touch with people, with nature, with places. It 
was this that made his poetry, though perhaps not great, abso- 
lutely genuine and well worth reading. It was this same quality 
that made him in taste and in influence an historian. 

Mr. Parker was one of the promoters of the Henry County His- 
torical Society, our most active county historical organization. The 
fine building which that society now occupies, its valuable collec- 
tion of early agricultural and domestic implements, of books, and 
of other relics, are due probably as much as to his work as to that 
of any other man. He gave much of his time to these matters. 
One of the last meetings he attended was the conference of State 
and local historical societies held in connection with the gathering 
of the American Historical Society at Indianapolis during the 
Christmas holidays this -winter. Though even then in declining 
health, he evinced the liveliest interest in the work of his own 
society and in the meeting of the national association. A few 

Benjamin S. Parker 33 

weeks after his return home he became seriously ill and his death 
followed a lingering sickness of nearly two months. In the inter- 
est which he has stimulated in local history no less than in his 
writings, both poetry and prose, he has left an enduring legacy. 

It is not necessary here to give full account of his long and 
useful life nor of his many activities. That has been and will be 
done elsewhere. But a short sketch may not be out of place. His 
early life was spent on a Henry county farm. Shortly after the 
Civil War he went into business at Lewisville. He taught school 
for some time in Henry and Rush counties, speaking frequently at 
educational, literary and religious gatherings. He studied law at 
one time but never practiced at the bar. He wrote a good deal for 
various newspapers, and from 1875 to 1882 was editor of the Mer- 
cury at Newcastle. He published several small collections of 
poetry at different times, his first volume, "The Lesson, and 
Other Poems," appearing in 1871, and his last, "Noontide," in 
1905. Perhaps his best known poem was the "Cabin in the Clear- 
ing." Some of his work was included in Coggshell's "Poets and 
Poetry of the West" (1860.) He was the second president of the 
one-time celebrated Western Association of Writers. 

In 1880, Mr. Parker was a Republican elector on the national 
election, and cast the official vote of his district for Garfield and 
Arthur. In 1882, he was appointed consul to Sherbrooke, Canada, 
and remained in office during the administration of Arthur. In 
1900, he represented Henry county in the Indiana House of Rep- 




Reference Librarian, Indiana State Library. 

Abbreviations: Ind., Indianapolis; mag. sec, magazine section; p., page; c, column. 

Birner, John. Death of St. Joseph county pioneer. South Bend 
Tribune, Jan. 23, 1911, p. 4, c. 3. 

Black Hawk war. Dr. Wishard recalls the assembling of militia 
at Indianapolis, Ind. News, Feb. 3, 1911, p. 9, c. 5. 

Boundaries. Indiana-Kentucky boundary affected by slavery 
question. Evansville Courier, Feb. 5, 1911, p. 5, c. 1. 

Chickamauga, Battle of. Some stories of the 84th infantry and 
5th battery at Chickamauga. Ind. News, Jan. 27, 1911, p. 
8, c. 3. 

Cofifin, Rhoda. M. Reminiscences of early Wayne county. Rich- 
mond Item, Feb. 10, 1911, p. 4, c. 2. 

Confederate soldiers. Government proposes to erect bronze tab- 
let to unidentified dead. Evansville Courier, Dec. 14, 1910, 
p. 5, c. 4. 

Constitution. Changed conditions since forming of constitution 
of 1851. South Bend Tribune, Feb. 20, 1911, p. 3, c. 1. 

Curry, William W. Sketch of life. Richmond Palladium, Feb. 
16, 1911, p. 3, c. 1. 

Electric railways. First electric street-car line run in South Bend, 
South Bend Tribune, Feb. 11, 1911, p. 20, c. 1. Ind. News, 
Feb. 11, 1911, p. 13, c. 4. 

Evansville. Progress in the past decade. Evansville Courier, 
Jan. 1, 1911, p. 45, c. 4. 

History of interurbans in Evansville. Evansville Journal- 
News, Jan. 29, 1911. Interurban and manufacturers sec- 
tion, p. 1. 

Gas. Early gas fields and franchises in Delaware county. Mun- 
cie Press, Jan. 26, 1911, p. 4, c. 6. 

Index of Historical Articles 35 

Governors. Dr. Wishard describes some that he has seen. Ind. 

News, Feb. 3, 1911, p. 9, c. 5. 
Hackleman, Pleasant A. A forgotten hero. Muncie Star, Jan. 2, 

1911,p. 4, c. 5. 
Indiana. Pioneer drummer tells of runs made in early days. Ind. 

News, Dec. 29, 1910, p. 3, c. 6. Lafayette Courier, Jan. 4, 

1911,p. 8, c. 2. 

Odd items of Indiana history found in old newspapers. Ind. 

News, Feb. 1, 1911, p. 4, c. 6. Evansville Journal News, Feb. 
4, 1911, p. 5, c. 1. 

Indianapolis. Death of only surviving first settlers. Ind. Star, 

Feb. 17, 1911, p. 5, c. 5. 
Lincoln, Abraham. Isaac Jenkinson's recollections of him. 

Richmond Palladium, Feb. 14, 1911, p. 1, c. 1. Richmond 

Item, Feb. 14, 1911, p. 1, c. 7. 

Visit to Lafayette in 1861. Lafayette Courier, Feb. 11, 

1911,p. 1, c. 4. 

Reminiscences. Ind. Star, Feb. 12, 1911, p. 14, c. 2. Muncie 

Star, Feb. 11, 1911, p. 4, c. 3. 

Visits to Indianapolis. Ind. Star, Feb. 12, 1911, mag. sec. 

p. 1. Terre Haute Star, Feb. 12, 1911, mag. sec. p. 1. Mun- 
cie Star, Feb. 12, 1911, sec. 2, p. 1. 

McCormick, Amos D. Death of only surviving first settler of 
Indianapolis. Ind. Star, Feb. 17, 1911, p. 5, c. 5. 

Story of his trip to Indianapolis in 1820. Ind. News, Feb. 

17, 1911, p. 18, c. 4. 

Miami Indians. Will press old land claims. Ft. Wayne Journal- 
Gazette, Dec. 27, 1910, p. 3, c. 5. Ind. News, Dec. 24, 1910, 
p, 3, c. 3. 

Mother Theodore. May be first North American saint. Terre 
Haute Star, Dec. 11, 1910, mag. sec, p. 1. Muncie Star, Dec, 
11, 1910, sec. 2, p. 1. Ind. Star, Dec. 11, 1910, mag. sec. p. 1. 

Newspapers. Early newspapers of Delaware county. Muncie 
Press, Dec. 8, 1910, p. 4, c. 6. 

Delaware county times of November 26, 1868. Muncie 

Press, Feb. 16, 1911, p. 6, c. 6. 

36 Indiana Magazine of Histoey 

Parrett, John W. Death of aged pioneer minister. Terre Haute 

Star, Jan. 11, 1911, p. 10, c. 2. 
Prohibition. Indiana's only state-wide prohibition law recalled 

by Dr. Spottswood. Ind. News, Feb. 27, 1911, p. 10, c. 6. 
Regimental histories. Stories of the 84th at Chickamauga, Ind. 

News, Jan. 27, 1911, p. 8, c. 3. 
Rerick, J. H. Death of prominent South Bend physician. South 

Bend Tribune, Jan. 23, 1911, p. 1, c. 6. 
Schools. Vote for free schools in 1848 and 1849. Ind. News, Dec. 

8, 1910, p. 6, c. 2. 
Seal. Buffalo on seal was true to Indian life. Ind. Star, Dec. 11, 

1911, mag. sec. p. 6. 
Spottswood, Edward. Reminiscences of. Ind. News, Feb. 27, 1911, 

p. 10, c. 6. 
Stone River, Battle of. Reunion of survivors. Ind. News, Jan. 

2, 1911, p. 24, c. 2. 
Underground railroad. Incident at an Indiana station. Ind. 

News, Feb. 18, 1911, p. 19, c. 1. 
Vanderburgh county. Green River Island may be ceded by Ken- 
tucky. Evansville Courier, Feb. 5, 1911, p. 5, c. 1. 
Vernon. History and description. Ind. News, Feb. 11, 1911, p. 15. 
Wabash and Erie canal. Old bond comes to light. Ind. News, 

Jan. 25, 1911, p. 3, c. 7. 

Owner seeks a buyer. Ind. Star, Feb. 24, 1911, p. 12, c. 5. 

Wayne county. First schoolhouse. Richmond Item, Dec. 17, 

1910, p. 7, c. 3. 
Rhoda Coffin's reminiscences. Richmond Item, Feb. 10, 1911, 

p.4, c. 2. 
Woods, W. J. Old drummer tells of pioneer travels. Lafayette 

Courier, Jan. 4, 1911, p. 8, c. 2. Ind. News, Dec. 29, 1910, 

p. 3, c. 6. 


Indiana State Library, Indianapolis 

Published by the Indiana Historical Society 

Christopher B. Coi.eman, Editor 


The State of Indiana has taken the first step toward the erection 
of a suitable State Library and Museum building by providing for 
a commission to select a site, secure options and adopt plans, and 
by providing $1,000 for the necessary expenses of the commission. 
The need of this and the law recently passed are shown on an- 
other page of this number. It is gratifying that the law has been 
passed and that there was so little opposition to it. Many will 
perhaps feel that the proposed building is overloaded, that the 
educational and scientific offices of the State should be retained in 
the Capitol, where other administrative offices are housed, and 
that the centennial building should be specifically a library and 
museum. This, however, is a matter that will doubtless be worked 
out satisfactorily when plans are more fully developed. 

It is to be hoped that the commission will build its plans for the 
future, and on a large scale. While all citizens would deplore any 
extravagance, we should recognize that the State Library and the 
State Museum should be provided with a building of a monu- 
mental design suitable to the celebration of a century of state- 
hood, and above all that these are growing institutions and that 
ample space must be provided if they are not to be again ham- 
pered and crowded into comparative uselessness. Other States 
have provided funds of a million dollars and more. We should 
not be niggardly nor spoil the opportunity of the future by a tem- 
porary and false economy. If we can not with some of our neigh- 
bors have a million dollar building, it is surely not unreasonable 
to expect a future expenditure for the building itself of at least 
half of that amount. 

38 Indiana Magazine; of History 


The committee of women in charge of the Robert Dale Owen 
memorial has finished its work and recently presented to the State 
of Indiana a beautiful bust of Mr. Owen, well mounted upon a 
tall granite pedestal. The memorial stands at the south entrance 
of the State Capitol, facing the building. It is altogether a fatting 
tribute to a man who not only championed the rights of women 
and did most effective work to secure these rights in the second 
constitutional convention, but who was one of the ablest men 
and one of the greatest the history of Indiana can show. 

The Indiana Historical Society is in receipt of an important 
request for information about one Ephram Johnson and family, 
who lived in or near the city of Indianapolis in 1862. Any one 
possessing information should communicate with this magazine. 

Mrs. Harriet Retz, teacher of history in the Manual Training 
High School of Indianapolis, has been compelled by illness tem- 
porarily to relinquish her work. Her place is being taken by Mrs. 
Hope Whitcomb Graham, of Butler College. Mrs. Retz is ex- 
pected to resume her work before the end of the present school 

The Legislature having provided the necessary funds, the work 
of the Department of Archives of the State Library will be re- 
sumed. Professor Harlow Lindley will be at the head of the de- 
partment as formerly. 

Indiana University has established a graduate fellowship in 
history, the holder of which is to devote himself between now and 
1916, under the direction of Prof. James A. Woodburn, to the 
study of Indiana history, with a view to the production of an 
historical contribution to the centennial of the admission of In- 
diana to the Union. This action marks another step in the direc- 
tion of the development of graduate work at Indiana University, 
which is a matter of congratulation for all the educational inter- 
ests of the State. It is also another witness of the service of the 
University to the public interests of Indiana. If the editor is not 

Reviews of Books 39 

mistaken in his information, it was Professor Woodburn who 
first suggested, some years ago, that the centennial should be 
celebrated by the erection of a centennial library and museum 
building, a project which now bids fair to be realized within the 
next four years. 



[Frazer E. Wilson. 122 pp. Illustrated. Published by the author 

at Greenville, Ohio, 1909.] 

This book is a revision of the author's earlier "Treaty of Green- 
ville," and consists essentially of papers appearing in the Ohio 
State Archaeological and Historical Society's publications, and in 
the Ohio Magazine. It gives a detailed, readable and accurate 
account of the Indian troubles in the northwest, culminating in 
Wayne's victorious campaign, and of the Treaty of Greenville it- 
self. The illustrations of monuments, views and medals, and the 
maps, add to the interest and clearness of the narrative. 


[G. W. H. Kemper, M. D., editor. 2 vols. Vol. I, 542 pp. Illus- 
trated. 1908. Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago. Sold by 
subscription alone.] 

Another of the county histories frequently noticed in this mag- 
azine, the manufacture of which is described at length in this num- 
ber. Few people get to read them except the subscribers, and as 
they read only their own autobiographical sketches, little histor- 
ical value is attached to them. 


Vol. VII JUNE, 1911 No. 2 


[A paper read before the Illinois Historical Association, May 17, 1911.] 

UNDER this heading I want to present a few considerations 
of a rather general character brought home to me casually 
during work involving some incidental study of State constitu- 
tions, chiefly in the old Northwest Territory. 

I was at the outset rather pleasantly surprised to find these 
constitutions an interesting study. Ambassador Bryce, in his 
American Commonwealth, long ago (1888) observed (Chap. 
XXXVII., Vol. II., p. 434) that "the State constitutions furnish 
invaluable materials for history. Their interest is all the greater 
because the succession of constitutions and amendments to con- 
stitutions from 1776 till to-day enables the annals of legislation 
and political sentiment to be read in these documents more 
easily and succinctly than in any similar series of laws in any 
other country. They are a mine of instruction for the natural 
history of democratic communities. Their fullness and minute- 
ness make them, so to speak, more pictorial than the Federal Con- 
stitution. They tell us more about the actual methods and con- 
duct of the government than it does." 

There is not only interest, there is room for humor, also, in 
the study of the State constitutions. Mr. Bryce finds our State 
constitutions surprising in places; he exhibits many provisions, 
especially in the bills of rights, as objects of curiosity, and occa- 
sionally jokes at them, as in the observation that "twenty-six 
States declare that 'all men have a natural, inherent and inalien- 
able right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, and all of these 
except the melancholy Missouri, add, the natural right to pursue 
happiness.' " (Chap. XXXVII, Vol. II, p. 424.) He refers to 

42 Indiana Magazine of History 

them as "documents whose clauses, while they attempt to solve 
the latest problems of democratic commonwealths, often recall 
the earliest efforts of our English forefathers to restrain the ex- 
cesses of medieval tyranny." (Chap. XXXVIII, Vol. II, p 442). 

Other things besides Mr. Bryce's amused complacency throw 
a cheerful ray across the path of the student of State constitu- 
tions. The innovations in at least nine new State constitutions 
cause Eastern writers to make the most mournful and pessimistic 
comparisons with the time-honored Massachusetts instrument. 
Professer Stimson, of Harvard University, in his very convenient 
compilation of "The Law of the Federal and State Constitutions 
of the United States" (1908), deplores the inaccessibility of State 
constitutions. "In Georgia it is not procurable. * * * Some 
States like New Hampshire and Ohio do not print them at all 
with their general laws. Oregon and other States entirely omit 
constitutional amendments, while hardly any State follows the 
example of Massachusetts in printing the constitution in its 
correct form every year. * * * While the usual compilation of 
the laws of New York and the ofhcial compilation of Georgia 
and several other States commit the last inanity of printing the 
State Constitution alphabetically under C, as if it were an ordi- 
nary law" (p. XXI.) His exasperation finally reaches the height 
of exclamation points. "Owing to the negligence or stupidity 
of the State authorities in not printing these [amendments] with 
the annual laws, this [a complete list of constitutional amend- 
ments] is a difficult matter to ascertain. In Oregon, indeed, 
where laws and constitutional amendments are adopted by popu- 
lar initiative, the Secretary of State complains that they are 
'full of bad spelling, punctuation, omissions and repeated words' !" 
(p. 123). 

There are many things to tax one's patience in the study of 
the (approximately) 125 State constitutions in force at one time 
or another since 1776. For instance, the official and supposedly 
complete collection of State constitutions in F. N. Thorpe's Amer- 
ican Charters, Constitutions and Organic Laws (otherwise en- 
titled Federal and State Constitutions) published by the Govern- 
ment Printing Office, in the section devoted to Illinois omits 

The Deyei,opment of State Constitutions 43 

entirely the Constitution of 1848, and, though published in 1909, 
has amendments only down to 1900, thus omitting the amend- 
ments of 1904 and 1908. 

Nevertheless, enough material is easily accessible and enough 
good work has been done to make it possible for any one to go 
into the subject as far as he wants to, and to get considerable 
enlightment. The official seven-volume compilation of Federal 
and State constitutions edited by F. N. Thorpe, just referred to, 
though imperfectly and not well indexed, contains most of the 
official documents one needs, and can easily be supplemented so 
as to give one a collection complete to within the last two 
years. Then, beginning with Judge J. A. Jameson's The Con- 
stitutional Convention, a great work, though written to prove 
the untenable proposition that the State constitutional conven- 
tion is legally under the direction and subject to the authority of 
the State Legislature, with Bryce's luminous study in chapters 
XXXVII-XXXVIII of his American Commonwealth, and 
Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, there are a number of books 
and articles which not only incorporate an enormous amount of 
work and so save the time of the investigator, but are well worth 
reading. Among these I can only make mention of: Borgeaud, 
Adoption and Amendment of Constitutions ; Professor Dealey, 
Our State Constitution (supplement to the Annals of the Ameri- 
can x\cademy of Political and Social Science, Massachusetts, 
1907) ; Professor Garner's article upon The Amendment of State 
Constitutions in the American Political Science Review, Feb- 
ruary, 1907; Lobingier, The People's Law; Stimson, Law of the 
Federal and State Constitutions of the United States, 1908, and 
the Year Book of Legislation issued by the New York State 
Library. New York has been given an exhaustive treatise in the 
four-volume Constitutional History of New York, by Lincoln, 
which supplies most of the material for, if it does not often give 
the interpretation of the important constitutional developments 
in that State. The best recent piece of work with which I am 
familiar has been done by Walter Fairleigh Dodd, The Revision 
and Amendment of State Constitutions, 1910, an accurate, com- 
plete, convenient and convincing treatment of the subject. In 

44 Indiana Magazine of History 

nearly every State, moreover, there are full records of the forma- 
tion of the constitution in the shape of journals and debates of 
the constitutional conventions. 

The general outline of the developments of written State con- 
stitutions from the revolution to the present generation, has been 
frequently traced and with tolerable unanimity. We are not a 
people of striking originality in our political life, and there is 
greater similarity between the constitutions adopted in different 
States at a given time than one would expect. The New England 
States have been slow to remake their constitutions. Three of 
them have lasted 115 years or over, and the average of the con- 
stitutions in efifect just before New Hampshire adopted a new 
one in 1903 was nearly one hundred years. Other States have 
revised their constitutions more frequently, and, countmg the 
New England States in, the average life of a State constitution 
has been about thirty-one years. These two facts, namely, that 
constitutions of different States tend toward a given model, and 
that there are frequent revisions, make it easy to distinguish 
certain periods, the first three of which are best described perhaps 
by Mr. Bryce (American Commonwealth, Chap. XXXVHI), 
though he omits some elements which have been decisive in many 
States, as the internal improvement episode in the Middle West. 
The first period covers the first thirty years of our independence, 
and constitutions formed during these years manifest a dread of 
and reaction from executive tyranny, together with a disposition 
to leave everything to the legislature. The legislature was sup- 
posed to represent not so much the whole people as the best 
people. The people themselves as a whole were not thought of 
as capable of much political action or wisdom. Everything for 
the most part centered in the legislature, the choice of governor, 
the control of the various departments of the government, even 
the making and changing of the constitution itself. 

The second period extends from about 1805 to about 1846. 
States entering the Union during this time, or revising their gov- 
ernment, drew up documents giving the people generally a larger 
part in the government. The suffrage was opened to all white 
male adults, nearly all offices were to be filled by popular election, 

The Development of State Constitutions 45 

and terms of office were short, so as to pass the offices around 
more frequently and give what President Jackson called a 
"healthful action to the system" (Annual Message to Congress, 
1829). and changes in the constitution were to be wrought chiefly 
if not solely through constitutional conventions elected by the 

The third period began about 1845 or 1850, and was precipi- 
tated by the mistakes and incompetency of the legislatures, by 
the enormous development of log rolling and private legislation, 
and especially in this part of the country by the extravagant and 
dangerously large expenditure for internal improvements. In 
the old Northwest Territory, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois revised 
their constitutions, and the other States came into the Union 
with constitutions formed under this impulse. Important limita- 
tions, especially in financial matters, were put upon the power of 
the legislature, and a curb was placed upon private legislation. 
In general, great distrust of the legislature was shown. Generally 
the power and the length of term of the governor was increased. 
He was more than before regarded as the representative of the 
people — the fear of a strong executive was declining. The net re- 
sult of this development was a relative conservatism. Change 
in State government became more difficult than before, and the 
policy of State governments became generally more conserva- 

We have for some years been passing into a fourth period, in 
which is apparent a tendency toward more complete democracy. 
The lengthening of the constitution so as to make it a kind of 
direct popular legislation, the incorporation in new constitutions 
or grafting by amendment upon old ones of measures such as the 
initiative, referendum, recall and direct primary, are indications 
of the intention to bring the government more directly than 
before into the hands of the people. 

In addition to this formal development of our State govern- 
ments witnessed to by changes in their organic law, there has 
been steadily taking place the usual development of a more in- 
formal sort by judicial interpretation and by custom. As has 
been frequently remarked, the shorter life, the easier methods of 

46 Indiana Magazine of History 

amendment and the greater detail of our State constitutions, 
fiave given less scope to judicial interpretation in our State than 
in our national history. The question of constitutionality in State 
courts is more frequently a matter of getting some clear mean- 
ing out of obscure or ambiguous phrases, of overturning laws 
through technical errors in their construction, in short, more 
artificial and less satisfactory than is the case with questions 
of Federal legislation and constitutionality. The repetition of 
this long and laborious process of construction is one of the 
strongest arguments against constitutional revision. Perhaps 
the most clearly established and universally developed principle 
of judicial action is this, that the State legislatures are bodies of 
residuary and not of merely delegated authority, or, to state it 
differently, that power not lodged elsewhere and not forbidden 
to the legislature may be exercised by that body. Yet even this 
character of some of the articles of some of the most recent con- 
stitutions, for instance, Oklahoma and the proposed constitution 
of New Mexico, seem to deny. 

Custom has been, perhaps, more active in developing a new 
character in our State governments than is generally supposed. 
Party organization, the lobby, the growth of commissions, the 
non-partisan or bi-partisan reform of State institutions such as 
prisons, reformatories and asylums, centralizing tendencies in 
the management of local institutions, the socializing of educa- 
tion, care of the public health, and numerous other easily recog- 
nized developments, have transformed the conditions in which 
our political life is lived. 

It is easy to see now that democratic government in our 
States is not the simple thing it was at first thought to be. The 
reaction from the strong executive of colonial days to the omnip- 
otent legislature, and the reaction back toward a strong execu- 
tive, the complicated and unsystematic efforts in new constitu- 
tions to correct acknowledged abuses, show the need of some- 
thing more than abstract theory to guide us. 

There are those who think that the old threefold division of 
government into the legislative, executive and judicial depart- 
ments can no longer be maintained. Certain it is that few if any 

The Development of State Constitutions 47 

recent State constitutions can be systematically arranged on that 
basis. They contain the divisions of the executive, the legisla- 
tive and the judicial, and then a multitude of other provisions. 
Professor Dealey speaks "not merely of the three historic de- 
partments of government, viz., the executive, the judicial and 
the legislative, but also of the differentiations from these, the 
administration, the electorate, and that nameless agency which in 
every State has the legal right to formulate the fundamental law, 
an agency which for want of a better name may be called the 
'Legal Sovereign.' " (Our State Constitutions, p. 2.) By "ad- 
ministration" he means the boards and commissions, the depart- 
ments of state, treasury, education, the auditor, controller and 
other departments by which most of the expert work of State 
government is done. By the "electorate" he means the voters, 
considered not as the "sovereign people," but as a government 
agency acting under the constitution and possessing the power 
of appointment to office by election, the judiciary power through 
service in juries, and in some States the power of legislation 
through the referendum and the initiative. By the "legal sover- 
eign" he means practically the constitutional convention, that is, 
the voters in their act of determining the fundamental law by 
which all other acts of government are determined. This he 
thinks "is the great agency through which democracy finds ex- 

Whether we agree with this rearrangement or not, we can 
easily see that the simple outlines of government supposed in 
the revolution to prevail, are no longer sufficient and no longer 
prevail. Legislative, executive and judicial departments overlap 
in some instances (as legislative reference department, commis- 
sions) and leave gaps in others (workingmen's compensation 
laws, etc.) There is room for a still greater development of com- 
missions or commissioners to deal with business and private inter- 
ests than has yet taken place, and, as Mr. Bryce points out in the 
last edition (1910) of the American Commonwealth, the success 
in England of bodies with quasi-judicial powers in dealing with 
quasi-public interests would warrant a larger application of this 
department of government in the United States. Railroad, public 

48 Indiana Magazine; of History 

utilities and other commissions such as have been introduced in 
New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and, to some degree in 
most States, have apparently been an effective and convenient 
method of dealing with a heretofore complicated problem. I am 
not certain that our constitutions would not be simpler and more 
intelligible instruments if we abandoned the threefold division 
of government in them entirely and outlined our State govern- 
ment by the description of the organs of government and the 
functions of government as they are actually established, and 
did not try to bring them under the old categories. 

The rise of new industrial and social conditions and new politi- 
cal devices not foreseen by the makers of our State constitutions 
has brought the amending power into greater prominence than 
formerly. For example, in New York, Indiana and many other 
States, any fair and effective workingmen's compensation act is 
almost excluded by the wording of the constitution, in some 
cases by an accidental phrase or two, and by the long standing 
judicial interpretation of the constitution. 

There are many ways of amending constitutions in force in 
different States — on the initiative of the legislature by varying 
majorities in both branches, and the popular referendum in vary- 
ing required majorities; or on initiative of a commission ap- 
pointed for that purpose (New York) and referendum of the peo- 
ple ; or by the initiative of the legislature and by action of a 
convention with or without a popular referendum ; or even by 
action of successive legislatures with two-thirds majority in each 
house (Delaware). 

It is even possible in some States to secure a sort of higher 
or second degree legislation by way of constitutional amend- 
ments. In cases where the constitution contains lengthy, de- 
tailed and complicated provisions which are really in the nature 
of legislation, ease of amendment is desirable and even necessary, 
if embarrassing situations are to be avoided. While there are 
objections to this sort of constitutions and to their flexibility, 
such as the complication of their judicial interpretation and the 
shifting of responsibility from the legislature, there is no inherent 
or demonstrated reason why this practice should not be admitted 

The Development of State Constitutions 49 

into our governmental system. The tendency is certainly in this 
direction, as is seen in the greatly increased length of recent con- 
stitutions (Oklahoma, 175 pp.; Alabama, 69 pp., fine print; 
Louisiana, 144 pp.), and by the frequency of amendments. It has 
been figured that in the decade 1894-1904 there were 412 amend- 
ments to State constitutions formally and legally prepared, and 
230 adopted. (Garner, American Political Science Review, pp. 
245-6.) California is especially prolific in this respect, having 
adopted amendments 42 times between 1888 and 1908. (Stimson, 
p. 123.) This year in California, after the victory of the pro- 
gressives caused an overturning in the State government, twenty- 
three amendments to the constitution have been submitted by 
the legislature to the people, providing among other things "for 
the initiative and referendum, the recall for all elective offices, in- 
cluding judges, and for woman's suffrage." (The Nation, May 
11, 1911, Vol. XCII, pp. 459-460.) 

Illinois and Indiana have constitutions among the most rigid 
in the United States. The requirement by the former is that 
a proposed amendment must be approved by "a majority of the 
electors voting" at the election, while in the latter a majority of 
the electors is required, and the judicial instruction has been that 
this means a majority of the people qualified to vote whether they 
vote or not (69 Ind. 505, 1880), though the court has also main- 
tained that in the absence of registration the number voting shall 
be presumed to be the number qualified to vote (156 Ind. 104, 
1901). These and other restrictions have made it extremely diffi- 
cult to amend either constitution, so that in Illinois the agitation 
for direct primaries involved almost insuperable obstacles, and in 
Indiana of late years constitutional amendments have been ap- 
parently impossible. Indeed, the Indiana constitution has only 
been amended twice since its adoption in 1851, namely, in 1873 
and in 1881. Governor Marshall has this year embarked in a 
revolutionary scheme of procuring the passage in the legisla- 
ture, by the support of the Democratic members, of a bill sub- 
mitting a new constitution to the people and providing means 
of counting the Democratic party vote as a vote for the constitu- 
tion. The present constitution, while it provides a required process 

50 Indiana Magazine of History 

for amendment, makes no provision for the calling of another 
constitutional convention, nor does it make any mention of the 
possibility of a new constitution. Governor Marshall and mem- 
bers of the legislature have argued that his leaves the door open 
for the legislature to submit a new constitution to the people. 
As far as Indiana is concerned, however, there would be just as 
much precedent for the governor himself submitting a new con- 
stitution to the people without the intervention of the legisla- 
ture. All precedents call for a constitutional convention. If, 
on the other hand, the new constitution be, as is claimed by the 
opposition, not in fact a new constitution but a series of amend- 
ments to the old, the whole procedure is plainly unconstitutional. 
It seems, however, only a mater of comparatively few years 
until many of the States of the Middle West which have not re- 
cently revised or substantially amended their constitutions will 
have to call constitutional conventions. These conventions have 
in the past undoubtedly represented the highest intelligence and 
the best character of the people, and have been in many respects 
the most successful element of our political systems. Yet it is 
doubtful whether the immediate future will be an opportune time 
for the formation of new constitutions. There is such a rapid 
change of political condition that constitutions would have to be 
made on the jump, and frequently the jump would be in the 
dark. The permanent effect of many recent devices, such as the 
direct primary, is not yet clear. The initiative and referendum, 
with much to commend them, have many vicious possibilities, 
and the recall may not be productive of a higher quality of office- 
holder. The short ballot is, perhaps, the one agitation now be- 
coming acute which has the greatest promise and the least 
weight of objection against it, but even this probably can and 
should be tried out in city governments a little while longer 
before its effects can be absolutely counted on. In short, just 
as in the construction of dwelling houses so many new improve- 
ments are developing, such as the open-air sleeping porch, the 
sun parlor, electrical housekeeping and laundry appliances, that 
the perfect house of yesterday is unsatisfactory to-day, and pros- 
pective builders gain by waiting a while, so in the construction 

The Development of State Constitutions 51 

of State constitutions the time for wise and permanent revision 
does not seem to be at hand. 

Meanwhile experience is being accumulated and definite scien- 
tific information is becoming available. In our legislative refer- 
ence libraries as well as in universities and text-books, a science 
of comparative legislation is rapidly taking form. We are be- 
coming better able every year to judge accurately of conditions 
and to know the exact workings of political institutions. It ought 
not to be long before our law and constitution making bodies will 
have the advantage which the English Parliament enjoys of hav- 
ing expert commissions to study the effect of proposed legislation 
and expert political scientists to properly draft statutes. 



[The following- historical sketch of Plymouth Congregational Church 
was prepared several years ago by Mr. Roberts for a meeting of the con- 
gregation. It is an example of historical work which ought to be done 
much more generally than it is. It is the purpose of the editor to secure 
other similar church histories from time to time. A sketch of Plymouth 
Church, Indianapolis, is especially in order on account of the widespread 
influence which this church had, and its leadership, especially in Mr. Mc- 
Culloch's pastorate, in introducing new methods and ideas in church 
work, as well as developing philanthropic work in the city generally. In 
our next number an account of Mr. McCulloch and his pioneer work in 
this direction will be presented. In this article Mr. Roberts confines 
himself to a description of the church itself. No one is better equipped 
for this work than Mr, Roberts. A trained historian, for years a teacher 
of history in Shortridge High School, he had long connection with Ply- 
mouth Church and an intimate knowledge of its workings. — Editor.] 

A SUMMARY of the outward facts relating to the history of 
Plymouth Church could be made very brief. It would be 
the short and simple annals of the poor. It would be something 
like this: Born about August 9, 1857. In its struggle for exist- 
ence it successfully weathered the various ills, ailments, weak- 
nesses, discouragements and backsets that such organizations are 
subject to. It has been a power for good in this community. 

Not one of the original founders of the church now survives, 
I believe, but some of its early members and active workers are 
still among its active supporters. 

It has had nine ministers, whose terms of service lasted for 
various periods, the shortest being that of Rev. W. C. Bartlett, 
the first settled pastor, which lasted less than one year, and the 
longest being that of Rev. Oscar C. McCulloch, which lasted 
fourteen years, and was terminated by his death in 1892. Mr. 
McCulloch was the only pastor who died while connected with 
the church. The names of these ministers in chronological order 
are as follow : 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis S3 

Rev. W. C. Bartlett May to August, 1858 

Rev. N. A. Hyde 1858-1867 

Rev. E. P. Ingersoll 1868-1871 

Rev. J. L. Bennett 1871-1873 

Rev. O. S. Dean 1873-1877 

Rev. O. C. McCulloch 1877-1891 

Rev. F. E. Dewhurst 1892-1899 

Rev. H. C. Meserve 1900-1904 

Rev. H. Blunt 1904- 

This church has owned and occupied three houses of worship : 
The original Plymouth Church, northwest corner of Meridian 
street and Monument Place, now a part of the English Hotel ; 
the second Plymouth Church, on the southeast corner of Me- 
ridian and New York streets, on ground now occupied by the 
Federal Building, and the third, on Central avenue, at Four- 
teenth street, which was acquired by purchase and remodeled. 

The church, after its organization, until it built its first edifice, 
met in the Senate chamber of the old State House. During the 
erection of the second building the church services were held in 
the Grand Opera House. For several months after the sale of the 
second church building we were privileged to use the Jewish 
Temple on Delaware street. 

On the business and financial side, Plymouth Church pursued 
a very steady and uniform course. It was always in debt. The 
various schemes and devices which have had to be resorted to 
to meet financial obligations, form a very considerable part of 
the records of its trustees. 

The following passage in the records reveals the strain which 
was almost constant for many years. I am sorry to say that the 
clerk of that meeting seemed to lose his patience and his temper 
when he penned the following words (1864) : "Brother X. Y. Z, 
prayed that God would give the trustees of the church 'courage,' " 
and then in parentheses, "It is the impression of some, especially 
the clerk, that money would be preferable." 

At the time of the resignation of Rev. O. S. Dean, the financial 
condition of the church was quite desperate, and it resulted in the 

54 Indiana Magazine of History 

sale of the church, or rather surrender of the church property, to 
W. H. English, who held a mortgage upon it. At that time the 
church had the extreme good fortune to secure Rev. Oscar C. Mc- 
culloch as pastor. His vigor, enterprise and hopefulness, aided 
by his splendid financial ability, resulted in the erection of the 
edifice universally known as Plymouth Church (par excellence), 
which for so many years was the center of much of the spiritual 
and intellectual life of this city. 

From the organization of Plymouth Church to the present 
time, beginning with thirty-one members, there have been en- 
rolled upon the records 755 names. 

This church was born in the critical and troublous times just 
before the war, and its early years were in the midst of the awful 
struggles and the dread anticipations of the time that tried men's 
souls. Plymouth Church, along with most of the other churches 
of this city, was patriotic to the core. It contributed its due 
share of effort and sacrifice to the patriotic cause. 

How doctrines, beliefs and policies vital at any given time 
may become obsolete, if not unthinkable, within the life of a single 
generation even is well illustrated by the following passage in 
the history of this church. To be appended to the Covenant and 
Confession of Faith, which was adopted August 3, 1857, W. T. 
Hatch offered the following: 

"Resolved, As we who are about entering upon the organization 
of a Congregational Church, believe slave-holding to be a sin that 
should exclude a person from church membership, we will vote 
against the admission of any one who believes it to be right." 

The resolution was adopted, whereupon a reconsideration was 
moved and the further consideration of the question was set for 
the following Thursday evening. Upon reconsideration the reso- 
lution was adopted without amendment by a vote of ayes 
and nays. It required some courage for any church, and es- 
pecially for one in feeble infancy, to take such a stand at that 
time. It requires the exercise of a very vivid historic imagina- 
tion to picture to one's self the meaning and effect of such a 

Again, to a revision of the Rules of the Church, adopted in 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis 55 

May, 1862, the two following resolutions are of interest as illus- 
trating some of the sociological conditions of the times: 

"Resolved, That persons who make use of, or sell intoxicating 
liquors as a beverage are guilty of an immorality which should 
exclude them from membership in the Church. 

"Resolved, That we believe the holding of human beings as 
property is a sin, the renunciation of which should be a condi- 
tion of membership in the Church." 

Article XIII. in the Rules of the Church, adopted originally in 
1857 and revised in 1862, reads as follows : 

"The censures inflicted on offenders shall be — private reproof, 
public admonition, suspension, excommunication, according to 
the aggravation of the case. 

"Notice of excommunication shall be given from the pulpit 
on the Sabbath. 

"In case of private wrongs, the sufiferer shall seek by private 
means to reclaim the offenders, nor shall the matter be brought 
before the church Until all such means shall have been tried in 
vain. (See Matt. 18:15-16.) In cases of public and notorious 
offenses the matter shall be brought before the church without 
unnecessary delay. When a member is accused, he shall be sea- 
sonably furnished with a copy of the complaints and shall have 
a full hearing." 

These rules of discipline have to our ears a kind of thin and 
far-away sound, but, whatever may be their present validity, they 
have not always been a dead letter, in testimony of which listen 
to an extract from the minutes of the annual meeting of Decem- 
ber 28, 1874, names being omitted : 

"The clerk was then called upon to present to the church the 
cases of three (3) of the church members which were referred 
by the committee to the church for their final action (naming the 
three members.) The case of each member was taken up sepa- 
rately, the church committee stating to the clerk the facts in the 
case of each one, and showing that each one had been labored 
with faithfully and long, and due effort was made to induce him 
to forsake the evil of his ways and turn to the Lord, but all 
without avail. 

56 Indiana Magazine of History 

"After some discussion of the matter, Deacon made the 

following motion in regard to the case of John L. : 'Moved that 
we, the members of Plymouth Congregational Church of In- 
dianapolis, in annual meeting assembled, suspend the said John 
L. from the communion and fellowship of Plymouth Congrega- 
tional Church, together with the rights and privileges belonging 
to its members until at such time he shall return to the Lord 
with repentance of heart, renouncing all his sins and seeking 
forgiveness of God for his past transgressions.' Said motion 

was seconded by and carried by a unanimous vote of 

the church." 

The same action was taken in regard to the other two offenders. 
As far as I know this incident is quite unique in the history of 
this church. Whether this is to be explained by the superior 
morale in the later church membership and the absence of of- 
fenders or to a letting down of the sense of responsibility for the 
conduct of its members, I leave for others to determine. 

To those who have watched the course of Plymouth Church 
since the first twenty years of its existence, it may be a curious 
question as to whether it had any history on the ecclesiastical 
side. Did it ever stand for any type or form of theological be- 
lief? Indeed, it passed through a great transition. Its history 
ecclesiastically may be divided into two great periods. The 
first period is that of "strict construction," and the second that 
of the "open door." These terms are not exactly antithetical, but 
they connote very different situations and perhaps they differ 
more widely in the letter than they do in the spirit. 

The idea of a church without a creed was hardly thinkable by 
the founders and early members of this church. And so among 
the first acts was to formulate a confession of faith, to which 
every one entering the church was expected to subscribe. Now, 
the first confession of faith was not of the deepest blue, nor did 
it contain all the fine points of Calvinism, but it was nevertheless 
of a decidedly cerulean complexion. And yet in the second year, 
or in 1859, it was thought desirable to strengthen somewhat the 
bulwarks of the orthodox faith by inserting a new article in the 
creed, as follows : "We believe that our first parents were origi- 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis 57 

nally holy ; that they sinned against God and that all their de- 
scendants are unholy and disposed to sin, and, therefore, without 
redemption through Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, 
are exposed to eternal death." 

This article was probably penned by the Rev. N. A. Hyde, since 
he was chairman of the committee which recommended its adop- 
tion, and was pastor at the time. At any rate it very well ex- 
presses the doctrine generally preached in the so-called orthodox 
pulpits of that time, and possibly it expresses the general ortho- 
dox belief at the present time, though I fancy that few well in- 
structed preachers of the present would express it in precisely 
those terms. 

The period of the "open door" commences with the accession 
of Oscar C. McCuIloch to the Plymouth pulpit. It was the favo- 
rite watchword with Mr. McCulloch, and its adoption as the 
motto of the church marks the utter obliteration of all dogmatic 
statements in regard to theologic matters. Membership in the 
church after that time was based upon conduct and aspiration 
alone, the article upon membership in the constitution reading as 
follows : "All persons are eligible for membership who will unite 
with us on the basis of these principles and pledge themselves 
to carry out the objects of this church, it being distinctly under- 
stood and agreed that the applicant is not committed to any 
philosophy of faith, and that Christian spirit and Christian char- 
acter shall be the only requisites of membership." 

Upon this platform thereafter Plymouth Church stood. There 
was no disposition manifested in any quarter to revert to the 
old creed, or Confession of Faith, as it was called, and, al- 
though this attitude on the part of the church has brought upon 
it more or less criticism from other denominations, it is a ground 
for satisfaction that Plymouth pulpit was never turned into a 
polemic platform. Never was there heard from it a word or tone 
of a controversial character. The preachers who ministered to 
the church devoted themselves wholly to constructive work and 
teaching. In this matter it may fairly be claimed, I think, that 
Plymouth has been a potent leader, at least in this city and 

58 Indiana Magazine of History 

The old militant spirit has died out to a large extent, and now 
you will almost never hear an attack made in one church upon 
the doctrines or practices of one of a different name. The spirit 
of harmony and brotherhood prevails among all Christian bodies 
which are working for the common uplift of mankind. 

It is not my object to go into a detailed account of the various 
activities in which this church has engaged since its birth, 
though much might be said. The story of Plymouth Institute 
and the beginning of furnishing means for intellectual culture 
to busy people would make a whole chapter. The organizing of 
special classes for night work has now been taken up by other 
churches and other organizations, but the pace was set by Ply- 
mouth under the masterly leadership of Mr. McCuUoch. The 
reorganization and the betterment of the charitable work of the 
city had the same initiative. 

There are only a few incidents of an anecdotal character in 
the experiences of the church. One which is not without its 
humorous features I will mention. The various seasons when the 
pulpit has been vacant have been critical and anxious periods, 
as such must always be to any congregation. On one of these 
occasions, March, 1870, a call was extended to the Rev. Minot 
J. Savage, who was then the pastor of a Congregational church 
in Framingham, Mass. There was some correspondence, but 
finally Mr. Savage declined, and it was then ascertained that 
while corresponding with this church he had already virtually 
accepted a call to Hannibal, Mo. 

But three years later there was another vacancy in Plymouth 
pulpit. Another call, an urgent one, was extended to Mr. Sav- 
age. He replied practically agreeing to accept upon a number 
of conditions which he named. The church met, and, after due 
consideration, agreed to comply with the conditions named. It 
must be remembered that this was during the "strict construc- 
tion" period of the church's history. 

In a few days the leading members of the church were appalled 
and came near having an attack of nervous prostration upon re- 
ceiving another letter from Mr. Savage, saying that his condi- 
tions having been approved and thus made a part of the con- 

Plymouth Church, Indianapolis 59 

tract, he was ready to accept the call, but that he thought it 
right to inform the church that he was no longer orthodox in 
his beliefs. 

This letter produced a sensation, and was even characterized 
by some of the brethren as positively insulting. A meeting was 
hastily called and Mr. Savage was informed that the deal was all 
off. The Rev. Minot J. Savage has become since that time one 
of the most aggressive and notable preachers in the Unitarian 

The first knowledge that I ever had of Plymouth Church, or 
any other church in Indianapolis, was in the summer of 1864. 
when I met its pastor, Rev. N, A. Hyde, laboring in the camps 
and hospitals about Louisville. He was in the service of the 
Christian Commission. In this connection the following entry 
in the church records, from the clerk's annual report, dated April, 
1863, interested me greatly : 

"Our pastor (N. A. Hyde), takes no heed who may be offended 
by the truth, but preaches Christ and him crucified. The apolo- 
gists for slavery, the liquor traffic and licentiousness generally 
do not ask for membership or sittings with us. Those in authority 
have the earnest prayers of the church for God's guidance in 
crushing the unholy rebellion of the South, and the effect of the 
pulpit teaching has been to induce quite a number of the con- 
gregation to enlist in the Union army, some of whom have sacri- 
ficed their lives for the cause. The Ladies' Sewing Society has 
not contributed as much as usual to the church finances on ac- 
count of the great demand for sanitary goods for the army to 
which they have given largely, as well as to the new and press- 
ing calls of the suddenly disenthralled black men of the Southern 

This sketch is already too long, but I shall nevertheless insert 
the names of some notable men who have preached from Ply- 
mouth pulpit or spoken from its platform : Dean Farrar, Matthew 
Arnold, Joel Parker, Wendell Phillips. Henry Ward Beecher, 
Mary A. Livermore, David Swing, Lyman Abbott and Bronson 

The distinctive work of Plymouth Church was somewhat al- 

60 Indiana Magazine of History 

tered by the growth of other organizations and by the loss of 
its downtown location. On May 25, 1906, it and the North Con- 
gregational Church united under the title Plymouth Church, and 
continued to worship in the edifice in Central avenue at Four- 
teenth street. On July 10, 1908, a union of Plymouth and May- 
flower Congregational churches was effected under the title of 
"The First Congregational Church of Indianapolis." This church 
now occupies the former Mayflower Church building at Dela- 
ware and Sixteenth streets, and the Rev. Harry Blunt, formerly 
of Plymouth, continues as minister of the united churches. With 
this disappearance of the name, our sketch of Plymouth Church 
may well end. 



I PRESUME that most of the readers of the Quarterly have some 
interest in the question of the origin of the word "Hoosier" ; 
and I have been having some experiences, in connection with it. 
that illustrate, in a small way, the difficulty of exhausting the 
sources of history. After a prolonged study of the question, in 
1907, I published the results of my investigations in one of the 
pamphlets of the Indiana Historical Society. One of the theories 
of the origin of the word was that it was a family name, and I took 
the ground that I had eliminated this theory by examination of 
the directories of a number of Southern cities, and by inquiries 
of Southern congressmen, and others, without finding any trace 
of such a name. Imagine my surprise on stumbling on the entry, 
"Hoosier, Wm., lab., r. 603 W. 11th," in the Indianapolis direc- 
tory of 1911. 

I called at the address and found that William had moved ; but 
learned that he was in the employ of the city street-cleaning de- 
partment, and was stationed on the next block to my place of 
business. He was entered on the city rolls, however, as Wm. 
Hoozier, and the officials pronounced the name Ho-zher — long 
"o." I then hunted up William, and found him a very intelligent 
colored man. He said his name was Hoozer; and that it came 
from the owner of his father, in slavery times, who was Adam 
Hoozer, of Yadkin county. North Carolina. This was interest- 
ing, because I had in 1907 reached the conclusion that "Hoosier" 
was a corruption of "hoozer," which is a dialect word of Cum- 
berland, England ; and here was an actual instance of exactly that 
corruption. William informed me that the family name "Hoozer" 
was understood to be a corruption of "Houser." 

In the publication of 1907 I stated that the earliest use of the 
word in print that had been found up to that time, was its ap- 
pearance in Finley's poem, "The Hoosier's Nest," which was 
issued as the "Carriers' New Year's Address" of the Indianapolis 

62 Indiana Magazine of History 

Journal on January 1, 1833. Soon after my article appeared, I 
received a letter from Judge Timothy Howard, of South Bend, 
who was then preparing a history of St. Joseph county, in which 
he informed me that he had found an earlier use of the word in 
"The Northwestern Pioneer and St. Joseph's Intelligencer" of 
April 4, 1832. This newspaper was published at South Bend, and 
the article was as follows : 

"A Real Hoosier. — A sturgeon, who, no doubt, left Lake 
Michigan on a trip of pleasure, with a view of spending a few 
days in the pure waters of the St. Joseph, had his joyous antici- 
pations unexpectedly marred by running foul of a fisherman's 
spear near this place — being brought on terra firma, and cast into 
a balance, he was found to weigh 83 pounds." 

This publication accords with my conclusion, in 1907, that the 
word had been applied to residents of Indiana for some time be- 
fore it appeared in print, and that it was originally a Southern 
slang or dialect word, signifying a rude or uncouth rustic. The 
publishers of The Northwestern Pioneer and St. Joseph's Intel- 
ligencer, at that time, were John D. and Jos. H. Defrees, who 
were Tennesseeans, and no doubt familiar with the use of the 
word in the South. The sturgeon, with its covering of plates, 
is a rough-looking customer as compared with common fresh- 
water fishes ; and the obvious inference of the use of the word 
"Hoosier" in this connection is that, while it was being applied 
to Indiana people, the "real Hoosier" was a rough-looking in- 
dividual, like the sturgeon. 

A little later, while working on my history of Indianapolis, I 
ran across a still earlier use in print, in the "Carriers' Address" 
of the Indiana Democrat for 1832, which appeared in the issue 
of that paper for January 3, 1832. It was customary at that time 
to include in these addresses references to current and local 
politics; and in connection with the conflicting demands from 
the north and south ends of the State, on the State legislature, 
for the disposition of the public lands, this one says : 

The Word "Hoosier" 63 

"Your 'Ways and Means,' however great, 
May find employment in our State, 
While roads and ditches, rivers, lakes, 
Invite improvement; — and it takes 
The wisest heads and soundest hearts 
To harmonize discordant parts. 
Those purchasers of Canal lands — 
Whose cash we've got — ask from your hands 
A full compliance with all contracts 
Instead of 'nullifying' compacts; 
■^ While Southern folks, remote and sordid, 

Stand forth to keep the Treasury guarded, 
Protesting in most touching tones, 
'Gainst taxes, troubles, debts and loans. 
In favor much of large donations. 
Ask for our 'hoosiers' good plantations, 
Urging each scheme of graduation 
As justice to the common nation." 

This publication, connecting "hoosier" with "good plantations,'' 
shows that the "country" idea in the Southern use of the word 
was understood ; while the inclusion of the word in quotation 
marks indicates that, while it was then in use here in a jocular 
way, it was liable to give offense if used seriously. That stage 
quickly passed away after the publication of "The Hoosier's 
Nest," when the name was adopted all through the State as the 
popular title for its residents. 

Inasmuch as future discoveries of very early uses of the word 
in print will probably be accidental, I would suggest that, if any 
be made, they be communicated to the Quarterly, in order that 
they may be recorded in permanent and available shape. Possibly 
some future discovery may throw more light on this interesting 
local puzzle. 


Head of Department of History, Richmond High School. 

[A paper read at the annual meeting of the History Section of the Indi- 
ana State Teachers' Association, Terre Haute, May 5, 1911.] 

THE Story of the early happenings of the old town of New- 
port, Indiana, shows directly the relation between well- 
kept local history and general history. As the heading of my 
paper shows, this is to be an account of a station of the Under- 
ground Railroad, and all can readily see the importance of that 
great movement to the history of our country. The station I am 
to describe was the most famous of all the depots, so famous as 
to be called "The Union Depot" of the Underground Railroad. 
Had the local history of this place been studied and preserved as 
it should have been, much of value would have been added to 
our knowledge of the growth of feeling against slavery. 

The town of Newport is in Wayne county, about eight miles 
north of the city of Richmond, in the well-known Whitewater 
valley. This town was in the main settled by North Carolinians, 
who had left their homes on account of the shadow of the hated 
institution, and had settled in the territory dedicated to freedom 
by the Ordinance of 1787. The name of Newport, Indiana, was 
made hateful to every slaveholder south of Mason and Dixon's 
line, and the name of Levi Coffin was hated above all names by 
the slave-hunters of the South. 

In the year 1840 Arnold Bufifum, a Massachusetts Quaker, 
visited Newport, preaching the doctrine of abolition. His visit 
led to the organization of several anti-slavery societies. The 
first State Anti-Slavery Society held its meeting at Newport, and 
delegates from various southeastern counties were in attendance. 
Daniel Worth, of Newport, was the first president of this State 
society. This man made Newport a name in anti-slavery agita- 
tion. In 1842 the agitation reached such a height that the peace- 

A Station of the Underground Railroad 65 

fill New Garden congregation split in two parts, and we have 
the unusual picture of Quakers in a division over the question 
of slavery. A few years later a number of prominent English 
Quakers visited New^port, and could not be led to believe that 
a Quaker church would split over this question, as they naturally 
supposed that all Quakers were anti-slavery people. All their 
work was done with the main branch of the church, and they 
turned the shoulder of scorn upon the anti-slavery section of the 

Yet too often, when the Underground Railroad is mentioned, 
we think only of the name of "Coffin," and in Wayne county we 
are accustomed to think that Levi Coffin and his wife, "Aunt 
Katy," Vv'ere the only prominent members of this great move- 
ment, but such is not the case. Many men and many women 
gave a lifetime of effort to this work. In connection with this 
work the author has had occasion to trace the journeys and routes 
of fugitives, and only the call of duty led him back to the sub- 
ject. It is in the realm of probability that a map could be made, 
showing all the stations in the great system that led through 
eastern Indiana and western Ohio, and even the houses where the 
slaves stopped could be located. An inquisitive person can trace, 
in a broad line, such a route from the Ohio river to Canada, and 
locate all the places where the stops were made. This would be 
a very interesting topic of research, and one that is only open 
to history for a few more years, and then all such knowledge will 
have passed into the undisputed realm of tradition. 

Many obscure people helped in this work, and many men in 
and around Newport seemed to have had as much share in the 
Underground Railroad as did Levi Coffin. This statement is not 
made to detract anything from the fame of Mr. Coffin, but to give 
credit to such people as deserve it. Many houses in Newport 
sheltered fugitives, and it is reckoned that more than three thou- 
sand passed through the Union Station alone. In this connec- 
tion it might be stated that this Union Station, this home of 
Levi Coffin, is still standing in a fair state of repair. Some years 
back Mrs. William Scott, of Boston, tried to start a fund to buy 
and preserve this historic place. 

66 Indiana Magazink of History 

This house was shown to me and many stories told to me 
about these trying times by the venerable and interesting Quaker 
minister, John Wright Johnson. John Wright Johnson was a 
nephew of Mr. Coffin and lived in the house at the time when so 
many slaves were on the m.ove northward. Mr. Johnson died 
last year at the age of ninety-two. It is with regret that I say 
that much of his valuable first-hand knowledge passed away with 
him. Much that this paper contains comes from him, aided by 
further research. 

In this house, as in most other stations, there were no secret 
passages and hidden pits for places of concealment. A close ex- 
amination of the old Coffin home shows that the only place of 
concealment was a small room, next to the rafters, so small that 
only four or five people could lie down in the room. The opening 
to this room was so small that only one person at a time could 
crawl through. The entrance to this room was concealed by an 
enormous bedstead. True, there is a deep pit in the cellar, but, to 
the sorrow of the romantically minded ones, this was dug to allow 
a weakened spring to furnish water for the house. 

The main safeguard of runaway slaves was the old Anglo- 
Saxon idea that each man's house is his castle. The old Quakers 
knew this well, and would allow no one to enter a house in search 
of fugitives without a warrant, and by the time a search warrant 
could be secured the slave was many miles away. The most 
interesting bit of information of Mr. Johnson's entire story was 
that Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe had visited Newport twice, 
once while he was at the home of Mr. Coffin, and once in after 
years. He asserted that much of the information about slave life, 
and particularly the story of Eliza, was secured by Mrs. Stowe 
at Newport. If this is true, it is a point of much importance to 
the biography of Mrs. Stowe and of some importance to history 
in general. Mr. Johnson seemed to be very sure of his statement 
and repeated it a number of times to various people. Dr. Hough, 
of Fountain City, who probably knows more about Newport and 
its anti-slavery history than any other living man, says that Mr. 
Johnson is mistaken, or that his memory is in error. So a letter 
was sent to the son of Harriet Beecher Stowe, asking if his 

A Station of the Underground Railroad 67 

mother was ever at Fountain City or Newport. His answer 
was very interesting and to the point, so I shall presume to 
quote at length from his letter: 

"In regard to your questioning concerning Mrs. Stowe and 
Uncle Tom's Cabin, I can not make definite answer. With re- 
gard to the story of the visit of Mrs. Stowe to the house of the 
old Quaker, Mr. Coffin, you know as much as I do, and that is 
nothing at all. I doubt, if Mrs. Stowe was still living and in pos- 
session of her faculties, if she would remember anything about 
it. She always said herself that the original of Eliza was a 
young woman and her child who were taken off the place of old 
Van Sant at night by Professor Stowe and Henry Ward 
Beecher. Yet I think it by all means probable that there was a 
foundation to the story and it was not made up entirely of whole 
cloth. I do not know that Mrs. Stowe was ever in Indiana. She 
was in narrow circumstances for eighteen years after the mar- 
riage to my father and had heavy cares. She would not have 
gone to Indiana without reason. Can you locate either of her 
brothers, Charles or William, in that State as ministers of the 
Presbyterian Church? If you can, you have established the 
probability of a visit to that State, made by her; otherwise it is 
improbable that she ever made such a visit. If she did visit In- 
diana before writing Uncle Tom's Cabin, it was when she had 
no more idea of writing the book than of paying a visit to 
the moon. 

"I can not help you in this matter. You know the recollections 
of old men consist for the most part of Wahrheit und Dichtung. 
Old men dream dreams and young men see visions, and that gets 
history in a devil of a mess. If one of Mrs. Stowe's brothers 
were living near or about the place in question, you have shown 
cause for her being there, but if no such cause exists, *I think 
you will have to regard the whole matter as an old man's vision 
and a young man's dream. 

"To show you how unreliable people are, — when my mother 
wrote her introduction to the illustrated edition of Uncle Tom's 
Cabin, she told about being in Washington in 1862 and hearing 
Lincoln speak those words about the war continuing 'Till for 

68 Indiana Magazine of History 

every drop of blood drawn with the lash, there shall be one drawn 
with the sword, and all the treasure heaped up by three hundred 
years of bondsmen's unrequited toil, etc' 'Why, mother,' I 
said, 'Mr. Lincoln did not utter those words for years afterwards, 
and how could you have heard them before he spoke them?' 
But you might as well argue with a stone — she stuck to it that 
she heard them uttered in 1862 and it had to be printed in the 
book that way. That is the reason that the historians have to 
spend so much time hunting around in dark cellars for black 
cats that aren't there and never were. 

"In the public library that I patronize here in the city, I have 
a fiction card and a card for works of science. I insist they put 
all histories on my fiction card ; there is nothing in the world 
that Avill lie like facts, unless it is figures. 

"David said in his haste, 'All men are liars.' I guess he was 
trying to write a history about something. Even when it comes 
to the New Testament, how can we be sure that just two thou- 
sand swine drowned themselves in the lake, when the devils 
came out of the crazy man and entered into them. Who counted 
them, and were there not among them some small pigs that ran 
about so fast that you could not count them? 

"Very truly yours, 

"Chas. Edward Stowe." 

Evidently Mr. Stowe does not think very much of the reliabil- 
ity of history in general and local history in particular, but I have 
promised myself the work of following up the clue in the records 
of the Presbyterian Church at my earliest convenience. From 
this report many say that Levi and Catherine Coffin are the pro- 
totypes of Samuel and Rachel Holliday, so well portrayed by 
Mrs. Stowe. Further relation of Newport and Levi Coffin to 
Uncle Tom's Cabin can be traced more easily. The story of 
Eliza is so well known that the mentioning of the name is suf- 
ficient to bring the story back to your mind at once. The man 
who helped Eliza up the bank of the Ohio river at Ripley, Ohio, 
was the Rev. William Lacey, of Newport. He belonged to a 
secret service who patroled the banks of the Ohio river, watch- 
ing for runaways. He told a few people, his own brother not 

A Station of the Underground Railroad 69 

being among; the few, how he watched her cross from the Ken- 
tucky side with her pursuers in close chase. When she reached 
the river she hesitated a moment, but seeing her capture was sure, 
she clasped her child more closely, and leaped from one cake of 
ice to another. At times she seemed lost, but would put the 
child on the next cake of ice and would drag herself onto the 
same and continue her journey. Finally, nearly frozen, clothing 
wet to the skin and entirely exhausted, she reached the Ohio side 
and was helped up the bank by this Newport preacher. She 
was taken along the Ohio branch of the railroad, and, being a 
valuable slave, was hotly pursued, and so, as was the custom, was 
sent over to the Indiana side and was at the Coffin homestead for 
several days. Here she was named Eliza by Mrs. Coffin. She was 
sent on to Canada, and was seen here by Mrs. Coffin years 
later, on a visit to Canada. This much of the story seems to be 
true from all documentary evidence, notwithstanding the state- 
ments in Mr. Stowe's letter. Probably what has misled him was 
that his mother put the character of some well-known negro 
woman into the story of Eliza, but the slave woman who made 
the trip across the ice was without doubt sent through the New- 
port station. 

About a half-mile east of Newport stands the home of Mr. 
Hough, who was also prominent in the fight against slavery. 
Here occurred one of the exciting incidents of the history of the 
little town. Escaped slaves whose masters were not on their 
trail frequently worked in Newport for a year at a time, mingling 
with the free negroes who were in the neighborhood. One night 
fifteen slave-hunters, led by a man from Richmond, galloped 
into Newport, making dire threats unless the particular slave for 
which they were searching be given up. By chance this slave was 
not at Mr. Hough's home on this particular evening, so Mr. 
Hough detained the men until the slave could get into town 
and hide. After a thorough search the slave-hunters went back 
to Newport and began the second search. The slave was inside 
a house that was so near the street that several times he could 
have reached out and touched his master. A bugle call had been 
given and free negroes began to assemble, armed with shotguns, 

70 Indiana Magazine of History 

knives and clubs ; and many other anti-slavery men came, until 
there was quite an excited crowd. One Kentuckian being thor- 
oughly enraged, made some very wild threats and was covered 
by a shotgun in a negro's hands. The two sides waited for the 
opening shot that should signal for the general battle. Rather 
exciting for a town full of Quakers. Some declared they would 
have that negro if they had to burn Newport, but others decided 
that the negro was not worth enough to cause the loss of their 
own precious lives, and they finally left without the slave. This 
was the most determined attempt ever made in Newport to cap- 
ture a runaway slave. 

Informers had but scant courtesy at the hands of the Quakers. 
No harm was ever actually offered them, but life was made so un- 
comfortable that they soon left the vicinity, although a few secret 
friends of slavery were left until the Civil War. 

An interesting phase of the work was a sewing society formed 
at Newport to prepare clothing for runaways. Often the slaves 
were shoeless and almost naked, and this society spent many 
hours in preparing clothing for their unbidden but not unwel- 
come guests. Needing money to purchase those things which 
they could not make, this society made rag carpets, hats, bonnets 
and other kinds of hand work, and sold them to get money to buy 
the needed articles. Such women as Bulah Puckett, Elizabeth 
Stanton, Elizabeth Lacey, Keziah Hough, and many other women 
were members. Women are still living in this State who as girls 
were members of this society. 

One favorite story of Mr. Johnson was of the largest com- 
pany that ever passed through his uncle's home on their way 
north. The party was gathered together in Kentucky and jour- 
neyed to the Ohio river at night. They were ferried across by 
a friendly white man near the town of Madison. While in Union 
county a group of their masters caught up with them and fired 
repeatedly at them, wounding several. They succeeded in escap- 
ing through the growing corn and reached an underground sta- 
tion at Hicklin. Here, without dressing their wounds, they 
were placed in two wagons and hurried north. They traveled 
this way two nights until they reached Levi Coffin's home. Mrs. 

A Station of the Underground Raii^road 71 

Coffin was awake, and hearing the sound of wagons, arose and 
went to the door. She spoke to the men in charge and said, 
"What have you got there?" A driver replied, 'All Kentucky." 
"Well, bring all Kentucky in," was her reply. They were brought 
in, fed and warmed. Coffin then made one of his characteristic 
speeches: "Seventeen full-grown darkies are about as much as 
the cars can bear at one time. You may switch off and put 
your locomotives in my stable and we will water and feed 
them." This party was worth about $20,000 in any slave mar- 
ket, but to Mr. Coffin they were so many poor, destitute men. 
Later in the day Dr. Way and Dr. Stanton, two well-known abo- 
litionists, were called in to remove bullets and shots from the 
bodies of four of the runaways. Clothing was furnished for all 
seventeen by the sewing society before mentioned. They were 
badly in need of clothing, as they were almost naked from their 
trip through the woods and corn fields. After two days' rest, they 
were started for the home of John Bond, in the Cabin Creek 
settlement, but early the next day, Acquilla Jones, of Richmond, 
rode to Newport, bringing the information that slave-hunters 
were in force at Richmond. This news was sent to John Bond, 
and he forwarded the same to the station, in Grant county. Here 
the negroes were resting, thinking themselves secure in this 
rather sparsely settled section of the country. But the fugitives 
were scattered in various homes until the hunters lost trail. True 
to report, these hunters came to Newport by ones and twos, 
purporting to be cattle and horse buyers. There were three sets 
of hunters in this party, and two of them followed the fairly well- 
known trails to Canada. The third remained in Wayne county 
for a while. Exasperated by their failure, this third party started 
for Newport, threatening to burn Mr. Coffin's home and kill all 
negro lovers in the town. Warning was hastily sent to the town, 
but the old Quaker was not much frightened, and did not even 
take the trouble to guard his property. This party is supposed 
to be the one that declared for the first time that there must be 
an Underground Railroad and that Levi Coffin must be the 
president of the road. Soon after that, Mr. Coffin began to re- 

72 Indiana Magazine of History 

ceive letters addressed to the President of the Underground Rail- 

A story of Mr. Coffin's appearance before the grand jury of 
Wayne county will help to explain how difficult it was to detect 
the work of this underground railroad. Mr. Coffin was sum- 
moned before the grand jury at Centerville, to answer for violat- 
ing the fugitive slave law, although how a State grand jury could 
inquire about the violation of Federal statutes is hard to under- 
stand. When asked by the foreman if he knew of any cases of 
assault and battery or outbreaks near Newport, he answered that 
they were nearly all Quakers and were peaceable people. Then a 
prominent friend of slavery who was on the jury took up the 
questioning. He asked Mr. Coffin if he knew of any violation 
of the fugitive slave law in Newport. Mr. Coffin said persons 
often passed through his neighborhood who said they were 
slaves, but he did not know how true their statements were, as 
Indiana law did not presume that a slave could tell the truth. 
He then asked if Mr. Coffin was not guilty of hiring free colored 
people, who had not given bond and security as the law re- 
quired. Mr. Coffin answered, "I presume I am guilty of violating 
that statute, for I am in the habit of hiring help whenever I need 
it and ask no questions." One of the jury asked if Mr. Coffin 
knew of any case in the county where the requirements of this 
law had been fulfilled, and it was shown that the law was a dead 
letter in southeastern Indiana. Then Dr. Way was called in and 
asked about the party of seventeen that had been at Newport and 
at whose place they had stopped. "At Levi Coffin's." was the 
answer of the doctor, and then told that he had helped to dress 
their wounds. He was asked, "Did you know they were slaves 
escaping from their masters?" The doctor answered, "We had 
no evidence, except their own statements. They said they were 
slaves from Kentucky, but their evidence is worthless in law in 
this State." This was the last legal proceedings in that section 
against anti-slavery people. 

But, on the other hand, there was a rather notable proceeding 
brought by these Quakers against the slaveholders. The law of 
Indiana protected people from slavery if the master attempted to 

A Station of the Underground Railroad 73 

live in Indiana. A slave could be taken through the State if the 
master did not make any purchases amounting to location. If 
he did locate, the slaves were free. A Dawes family from 
Maryland was traveling through Indiana to Missouri, and sick- 
ness compelled them to stop at Winchester. Being tanners, they 
found a tanyard in Winchester that could be bought at a great 
bargain. The terms agreed on were very satisfactory, but the 
thought occurred to them that if they located in Indiana they 
would lose their slaves, so they decided to go to Cincinnati and 
sell the slaves across the river, and then come back and close the 
contract. Before they started, however, they bought a lot of tan- 
bark and furniture, which was, by Indiana law, location, and the 
moment they did so the slaves were free. The party started for 
the South and were followed to Newport by Dr. Hyatt, from 
Winchester, who told the story to a crowd at Newport. This 
group went to 'Squire Curtis and Mr. Coffin swore out a kidnap- 
ing warrant, which was given to Constable John Hunt to serve. 
The constable summoned a posse of ten and started in pursuit. 
At midnight the men of the party were arrested near the Ohio 
line and were brought back to Newport. As the minimum pen- 
alty for kidnaping was $500 fine and two years in the peniten- 
tiary, the slaveholders were quite willing to make out papers of 
emancipation and avoid trouble for their unwitting offense. 

As Dr. Hough so well says, there are many unnamed anti-slav- 
ery heroes of Newport, and these need considerable place in a 
paper of this size. Eli Osborn was quite celebrated by one little 
incident of the- raid before mentioned, when the free negroes and 
the slave-hunters came so near to exchanging shots. One of the 
Southerners told Osborn that he would fight him a single combat, 
but he told the man that he was a man of peace, but if he would 
get down off his horse he would play him a game of marbles. 
This story was repeated to me by Linden Osborn, his son. This 
son, who was one of the conductors of the railroad, told me a 
number of interesting stories of his trips. He is the only man 
living in Newport that actually took a share in the work of help- 
ing runaways. He is a man past eighty years of age, very deaf. 

74 Indiana Magazine of History 

but his eyes still kindle with fire when the stirring days are re- 
called to him. 

Major M. M. Lacey, of Newport, is another man who remem- 
bers personally of these times. The following story is told in the 
major's own words: "In about 1843, when a very small boy, I 
was playing in the barn, and by chance jumped from a high beam 
down in the mow of hay. The result was astonishing, as I sank 
until almost covered up, and it was equally astonishing to others, 
for no sooner had I landed than I found myself mixed up in a 
squirming mass of something very much alive. The hay seemed 
alive with shining eyes and black faces. The interview was very 
short and contained no apologies from either side. The first 
thing was to tell mother, who told me for the first time the story 
of slavery. She told me that under no circumstances must I tell 
any one what I had seen, and it was well that such a command 
was made, for the same day, while playing along the road, three 
strange men came riding by and they asked me if I knew a man 
by the name of Levi Coffin. Of course they knew all about him, 
and after many other questions, asked me if I knew where any 
strange negroes were hid. I must have answered them in a hesi- 
tating way, and one of the men pressed me closely in questions, 
and finally pulled out a roll of bills and offered me $100 if I would 
tell him where any negro was hid. I was only eight years old 
and much frightened, but at least kept the faith." 

Thus not even from children could knowledge of this mysteri- 
ous railroad be secured. 

There was an organization of young men who obligated them- 
selves for certain duties in the aid of the colored people. Some- 
times they would hire speakers, sometimes they would do scout 
duty. One duty which required steadfastness of purpose was to 
take turns in riding to the negro settlement beyond Spartansburg 
to teach in the Sabbath school. Such young men as Moses 
Hough, Daniel Hill, Thomas Woodard, Calvin Thomas and 
others carried on this kind of work. 

One of the most prominent workers was Pusey Graves. He 
was an earnest, brilliant man, and spent his life in the fight 
against slavery. He was a candidate for Congress on the Liberty 

A Station of the Underground "Railroad 75 

ticket in 1844, at the time James G. Birney ran for the presi- 
dency. He made a very thorough canvass in a then hopeless 
cause, and was often greeted with abuse and stale eggs. He 
often traveled with an eloquent negro by the name of Lester, and 
the two made many speeches together. The Richmond Pallad- 
ium in 1844 had several accounts of his speeches, but always men- 
tioned them in terms of contempt. 

Further claim to honor is made by the Quakers of old New- 
port for some of their numbers in connection with the candidacy 
of Henry Clay in 1844. Henry Clay was to appear in Richmond 
in the fall of 1842 and try to swing Indiana into the Whig column. 
The Quakers of the New Garden church, near Newport, headed 
a petition to Mr. Clay, asking him to show his attitude on the 
slavery question by emancipating his slaves. Over two thousand 
names were secured in this petition, and then the trouble was to 
present the petition. The Whigs, wishing to prevent the 
presentation of the petition, refused to allow the Abolitionists to 
see Mr. Clay until he appeared on the platform in the afternoon. 
Then the managers asked for any petitions that might be ready to 
present to Mr. Clay. One powerful Quaker by the name of 
Hiram Mendenhall struggled to the platform carrying a petition. 
He was bloody and bruised by the mob-like actions of the crowd, 
but presented the petition, which Mr. Clay refused to take, al- 
though it was read to him by one of the men on the platform. 
Mr. Clay made answer: "Go home, go home, mind your affairs 
of the North, and we of the South will attend to ours!" [For a 
full account of this episode see this magazine. Vol. IV, No. 3, pp. 
117-128.] The report of this was carried to the Abolitionists in 
the East and was one more cause for the large vote of Birney in 
that campaign. The vote of Birney in New York State was large 
enough to draw strength from Mr. Clay, and thus elect Mr. Polk. 
Many men say that this happening was the cause of Mr. Clay's 
defeat. However, this may be far-fetched, and it is probable that 
this assertion should be placed along with those other assertions, 
such as the length of Cleopatra's nose, or the heavy dew on the 
morning of the battle of Waterloo. But the incident at least had 
a bearing on this most important campaign, and it is of note that 

76 Indiana Magazine of History 

one New York paper, in commenting on the election, said, "We 
are at home, Mr. Clay." 

The free negroes should not be passed with mere mention, as 
they were decidedly active in the cause. They were not trusted 
fully by the Friends on account of some well-known infirmities 
of character, but did their best for the cause. Their settlements 
at Cabin Creek and Spartansburg were often searched by slave- 
hunters without the formality of a search warrant. The most 
famous of all these free negroes was Lewis Talbert, who made 
many trips South to pilot to Canada his less fortunate brothers. 
He led away more than $40,000 worth of property. At one time 
he attended school at the Union Literary Seminary, of Green- 
ville, Ohio. While here a group of Kentuckians came to Rich- 
mond in hunt of him. This news was carried to Newport and 
from there a ride was made on a stormy night to Greenville, and 
Talbert again made his escape. Finally he was captured, escaped 
and was never heard of again, probably being captured and killed 
by his captors, who wished to make an example of him. 

Quite an honor roll might be given, besides the numerous 
names already mentioned, of those who took a place in these ex- 
citing times, but their names would not be of particular interest 
here. But their deeds live after them, and much credit must be 
given the unnamed heroes who endured trials and hardships that 
they might aid the oppressed. Their names should be placed on 
the honored rolls of those who stood true in the cause of human 

Now the exciting days of slave hunts are passed and gone, and 
this one time Quaker town, the Union Station of the Under- 
ground Railroad, before that road disbanded through lack of pas- 
sengers, once the most hated town throughout the South, has 
gone to sleep to dream over the noble lives and adventures of her 
past, which make her one of the most historic towns in Indiana. 



[A paper read before the Monroe County Historical Society at its Feb- 
ruary meeting-, 1911.] 

WHEN I assumed the duties of the presidency of the Mon- 
roe County Historical Society in the fall of 1909, it be- 
came my office to speak of the life and work of one of the socie- 
ty's most valued members. I refer to Mr. Williamson B. Seward, 
who had died the previous summer. Mr. Seward was present 
at the organization of this society, and he may, therefore, be 
called one of its charter members. He was constantly and ac- 
tively interested in its work. The death of such a man is a dis- 
tinct loss to such an organization, whose active friends seem 
to be limited to only a faithful few. 

Since the last meeting of the society another of its original 
members has been removed by death. This time it is the,honored 
president of the society, whose sudden removal from our asso- 
ciation and from this community we are called upon to mourn. 

It is certain that not one of us was more deeply interested in 
the work and welfare of this historical society than was Judge 
Henry Clay Duncan. No one has been more constant, more 
faithful, or more efficient in promoting the interest and success 
of our meetings and of our primary purpose. No one has con- 
tributed more, or more valuable material, to the papers and 
proceedings of the society. It seems, therefore, fitting and 
proper that some expression of our appreciation of his worth 
and services, and a brief sketch of his life's work, should be 
placed upon our records as a part of our proceedings to-day. 

Henry Clay Duncan was born on a Lawrence county, In- 
diana, farm five miles east of Bedford, January 16, 1845. He 
died suddenly, without warning to family or friends, on Jan- 
uary 30, 1911, having just entered upon his sixty-seventh year. 
He was the son of pioneer parents, of sturdy, substantial stock. 
His father, Judge William Duncan, of Lawrence county, of 

78 Indiana Magazine of History 

Scotch-Irish stock, was born in Jefferson county, Kentucky, 
February 16, 1803. He came to Indiana in 1826 while the coun- 
try was new, and, as he and his kind had to hew out their homes 
in the wilderness, they may be said to have helped to lay the 
foundations of the State. The elder Duncan was a public- 
spirited citizen, honest, sturdy, straightforward, always com- 
manding- the confidence of his neighbors, ever alive to the in- 
terest of the community in which he lived and ready to co- 
operate for its moral and material advancement. He was hon- 
ored repeatedly with public positions in Lawrence county, being 
probate judge for twenty-five years, county surveyor and county 

Judge Henry Clay Duncan's mother was Mary Haws Malott, 
also born in Jefferson county, Kentucky, in 1807, about twelve 
miles east of Louisville. She was of mixed French Huguenot 
and German descent, French on the side of her father, Hiram 
Malott, and German on the side of her mother, Mary Haws, 
who was educated wholly in the German language and followed 
her Bible reading and worship in that tongue alone. 

William Duncan and Mary Haws Malott were married on 
September 24, 1824. They emigrated to Indiana and settled 
on their Lawrence county farm in 1826. Their oldest son, Boli- 
var Duncan, was born in Kentucky in 1825. The other seven 
children were born on the Lawrence county homestead, about a 
mile from the old Leatherwood Christian Church. The father 
died in 1872, the mother in 1887. They were frugal, thrifty, in- 
dustrious people, the father saving the dollars and the mother 
the dimes, and, as such people usually do, they prospered in this 
world's goods. They were not rich as riches are counted to-day, 
but they were forehanded and provided well for the material, 
moral and intellectual needs of their children, and left them at 
last the far richer heritage of exemplary lives and characters. 

Henry Clay Duncan was the youngest of the eight children. 
He was educated in the country schools, and for one term at- 
tended the old Northwestern University, now Butler College, 
and in January, 1864, at the age of nineteen, he entered Indiana 
University. While he was a young student in the university he 

Henry Clay Duncan 79 

enlisted among the "boys in blue" in the army of the Union, 
for the hundred days' service. His regiment was the One Hun- 
dred and Thirty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, in command of Colonel 
John W. Foster. 

After serving the hundred days for which he had enlisted, 
young Duncan re-entered the university and graduated with the 
class of 1868, and later from the law class of 1870. In 1869 he 
was enrolling clerk in the Indiana Legislature. He read law 
with the Hon. Moses F. Dunn, of Bedford, and in 1872 formed a 
partnership with Dunn. In 1874 he came to Bloomington and 
formed a partnership with John W. Buskirk. After the death of 
Buskirk, Duncan formed a partnership, in 1888, with Ira C. 
Batman, then a young lawyer only three years out of college, 
and this law partnership continued until the death of Judge 
Duncan a few weeks ago, — a period of twenty-three years. Mr. 
Batman speaks of him with the warmest regard, recognizing 
in him a lawyer of the highest efficiency, loyal, faithful, and un- 
tiring in the cause in which he had enlisted; with honorable 
conceptions of duty to his client and to the public ; with strong, 
combative, though straightforward, qualities that made him an 
opponent worthy of the stoutest antagonist at the bar. 

Judge Duncan was married on December 11, 1872, to Sadie 
Cummings, a daughter of Dr. A. F. Cummings, one of Bloom- 
ington's leading physicians, whose home was on the west side 
of North College avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets. 
Five children were born to this union, four of whom survive. 
The son, Frank C. Duncan, was the efficient secretary of this 
society for a number of years. 

In 1880 Judge Duncan was elected prosecuting attorney for 
the judicial circuit composed of Monroe, Lawrence, Orange and 
Martin counties. In 1888 he was the Republican candidate for 
Congress in the old Democratic Fifth Congressional District, 
but was defeated by the Hon. George W. Cooper, of Columbus, 
who represented that district for three terms in Congress. 

In 1890 Duncan was appointed by Governor Hovey as judge 
of the Tenth Judicial Circuit to fill out the unexpired term of 

80 Indiana Magazine of History 

Judge Pearson, who had died. In his candidacy for re-election 
Duncan was defeated by Hon. R. W. Miers. 

In 1894 Judge Duncan was elected as State Senator to repre- 
sent the counties of Monroe, Brown and Bartholomew — nor- 
mally a strong Democratic district. During his service in the 
Legislature he helped to secure the passage of the maintenance 
tax bill for the support of the State institutions for higher educa- 
tion, to take the place of the precarious and vacillating biennial 
appropriations. He also drew the bill converting the southern 
Indiana prison into a reformatory. After the adjournment of 
the Legislature Judge Duncan was appointed by Governor Mount 
a director in that institution, and served in that capacity for four 

Judge Duncan was not only prominent and efficient in public 
afifairs, but he was, as I have indicated, an active and busy law- 
yer. Not only was he vigorous and successful as a practicing 
attorney, occupying as he did for more than a quarter of a cen- 
tury a leading place at the bar, but he was prominent and help- 
ful in many of the important business enterprises of this city. 
He was a director of the First National Bank for thirty years, 
since 1880, and at the time of his death was vice-president of 
that important institution. He was president of the Working- 
men's Building and Loan Association, one of the oldest and 
most reliable of our financial institutions. He was a devoted 
and life-long member of the Christian Church, joining at the 
age of sixteen, and he was an elder and trustee of the church at 
the time of his death. 

Last June Judge Duncan was elected president of the Monroe 
County Historical Society and at its first meeting for the year 
last September, he read a strong plea for a larger and more 
intelligent public interest in the history of the county and its 
people. The last paper presented to this society at its January 
meeting, 1911, was by Judge Duncan on "Monroe County in the 
Mexican War," and those of us who heard the paper will bear 
testimony to its interest and value. Other papers presented 
by Judge Duncan within the last few years were on "James 
Hughes," "The White Caps in Monroe County," "The New 

Henry Clay Duncan 81 

Harmony Settlement," and "Austin Seward." It was the in- 
tention of Judge Duncan to collect those papers in typewritten 
form, bind them and present them in durable shape to the so- 
ciety. It is to be hoped that this may still be done, for these 
papers are among the most interesting and valuable contribu- 
tions that the society has produced. 

No one had a better sense or appreciation than Judge Duncan 
of the useful function and possibilities of a local society like this. 
He had the historic spirit as well as a fine historic scent. He 
pursued a subject with a keen intelligence, and what he found 
and put on paper had substance and value to it. He had an 
unusual appreciation of values. By this I do not mean that he 
knew the value of dollars and cents, or of real estate, or that he 
succeeded in business. He did all this, but the values that Judge 
Duncan appreciated most highly were higher and more lasting 
than material things. He knew what was worth preserving. He 
knew how precious to a people is the record of its past and a 
spirit that cares for its past. He thought of how that past can 
best be preserved, and it was his deep conviction that no people, 
national or local, can ever come to much in its posterity who 
has no concern for its ancestry. He saw the local past fading 
into forgetfulness. He sought to rescue it, give it a record, and 
make it secure. He was interested in tradition, but he knew 
how uncertain and fleeting are the memories of men, and he 
therefore sought to sift and to save in permanent form, the 
essential facts, the actual deeds and achievements of our worthy 
men and women in State and neighborhood life. This was one 
of his chiefest interests. It is the chief interest of this society, 
in whose life and aim Judge Duncan was so large a part. It \s 
but right that the name and worthy services of Henry Clay 
Duncan should ever be preserved and recognized in the sociei} 's 
annals. He gave his services to the community in other wa} s, 
but what he did for local history alone is sufficient to give him 
a place and a name in the life and history of southern Indiana. 



MARCH, I9JI-MAY, 19 tt 

Reference Librarian, Indiana State Library. 

Abbreviations: Ind., Indianapolis; mag. sec, magazine section; p., page; c, column. 

Automobiles. Picture of first gasoline auto built in America, by 

Indiana man. Ind. Star, Mar. 1, 1911, p. 4, c. 2, 
Bracken's Rangers. Reunion of. Ind. Star, May 28, 1911, p. 

22, c. 1. 
Camp Morton, Camp Morton fifty years ago. Ind. News, May 

5, 1911, p. 11, c. 4. 
Camp Wayne. Judge Fox tells of it. Richmond Palladium, 

May 17, 1911, sec. 2, p. 0, c. 6. 
Civil War. Some Indiana soldiers who were "shot to pieces." 

Ind. Star, Mar. 19, 1911, p. 5, c. 5. Muncie Star, Mar. 19, 

1911, sec. 2, p. 3. Terre Haute Star, Mar. 19, 1911, mag. 

sec, p. 3. 

Veterans recall days in Terre Haute when Lincoln first 

called for troops. Terre Haute Star, Mar. 26, 1911, p. 5, c. 1. 

John Harrison recalls incidents in Indiana at the fall of 

Ft. Sumter. Ind. Star, Apr. 13, 1911, p. 4, c. 2. 

Fifty years ago to-day in Indiana. Ind. Star, Apr. 12, 1911, 

p. 8, c. 6. (Continued daily on editorial page). 

Mustering of troops in Indiana fifty years ago. South Bend 

Tribune, Apr. 20, 1911, p. 6, c. 1. Ind. News, Apr. 18, 1911, 
p. 2, c. 3. 

First regiment organized in St. Joseph county left for the 

front April 19, 1861. South Bend Tribune, Apr. 18, 1911, 
p. 8, c. 1. 

Bloomington veterans celebrate fiftieth anniversary of their 

enlistment. Ind. Star, Apr. 15, 1911, p. 4, c. 1. 

— — Indiana's response to Lincoln's call for troops. Ind. News, 

Apr. 15, 1911, p. 7, c. 5. 
— — Eleventh Indiana at Ft. Donelson. Ind. News, Apr. 22, 

1911, p. 14. 

Index of Historical Articles 83 

Equipping troops was slow work. Ind. News, Apr. 17 , 

1911, p. 2, c. 3. Muncie Press, May 2, 1911, p. ^ c. 3. 

William Dehart says he was the first to enlist. Ind. Xews, 

May 2, 1911, p. 7, c. 3. 

Indiana troops on road in May, 1861. Ind. News, May 0, 

1911, p. 5, c. 1. 

Indiana Zouaves in the war. Ind. Star, May 7, 1911. mag. 

sec, p. 8. 

Wayne county soldiers. Richmond Palladium, May 17, 

1911, sec. 2, p. 7, c. 1. 

Indiana at the outbreak of the war. Ind. News, May 20, 

1911, p. 14. 

Experiences of Father Corby. Ind. Star, May 28, 1911, mag. 

sec, p. 6, c 4. South Bend Tribune, May 30, 1911, p. 6, c. 4. 
Muncie Star, May 28, sec 2, p. 5, c 4. 

Colfax, Ellen W. Death of widow of Schuyler Colfax. Ind. 
Star, Mar. 5, 1911, p. 4, c 1. 

Corby, Rev. William. Experiences in the Civil War. Ind. 
Star, May 28, 1911, mag. sec, p. 6, c. 4. South Bend Tribune, 
May 30, 1911, p. 6, c 4. Muncie Star, May 28, 1911, p. 5, c. 4. 

Monument unveiled. South Bend Times, May 30, 1911, p. 

7, c 3. 

Courts. When Hoosier courts were young. Muncie Star, Mar. 

19, 1911, sec 2, p. 4. 

D. A. R. History of Paul Revere chapter. Muncie Press, Mar. 

21, 1911, p. 6, c 2. 

Dunkirk. Sketch of its history. Muncie Star, Apr. 16. 1911, p. 
7, c 2. 

Eggleston, George Cary. Death of. Ind. Star, Apr. 15, 1911, 

p. 5, c 2. Ind. News, Apr. 15, 1911, p. 10, c 5. Evansville 

Courier, Apr. 16, 1911, p, 2, c 5. 

Evansville. Founding of. Evansville Courier, May 29, 1911, 
p. 3, c 2. 

Fort Donelson. 11th Indiana at Ft. Donelson. Ind. News, Apr. 

22, 1911, p. 14. 

Harrison, William Henry. Home will be presented to city of 
Vincennes. Evansville Courier, Mar. 4, 1911, p. 1, c 5. 

Holman, William S. Memories of the "Watchdog of the Treas- 
ury." Ind. News, Apr. 24, 1911, p. 6, c 7. 

84 Indiana Magazine of History 

"Hoosier." The name and its origin. Aluncie Star, Mar. 5, 1911, 

sec. 2, p. 12. Terre Haute Star, Mar. 5, 1911, mag. sec, p. 

3. Ind. Star, Mar. 5, 1911, mag. sec, p. 3. 
Indians. Murder of eight Indians by white men in 1824. Ind. 

Star, Apr. 2, 1911, mag. sec, p. 1. Terre Haute Star, Apr. 

2, 1911, mag. sec, p. 1. Muncie Star, Apr. 2, 1911, sec. 2, p. 1. 
Indianapolis Orphans' Asyhim. History. Sixtieth anniversary. 

Ind. News, Apr. 7, 1911, p. 23, c 1. Ind. Star, Apr. 5, 1911, 

p. 9, c 2. 
Jeffersonville. Noted names in list of original lot owners. Ind. 

News, Apr. 1, 1911, p. 21, c 4. 
Jenkinson, Isaac. Tells how he became electoral messenger to 

Lincoln. Richmond Palladium, May 17, 1911, sec. 2, p. 4, c 1. 
Kindergarten. First one held in Muncie, Muncie Star, Apr. 21, 

1911, p. 7, c. 1. 
Lynching. W. J. Burns recalls Ripley county lynching case. 

Muncie Star, May 5, 1911, p. 10, c 1. Ind. Star, Apr. 30, 

1911, p. 3, c 1. 
Masons. Anniversary of oldest lodge in Ft. Wayne. Ft. Wayne 

Journal-Gazette, Mar. 31, 1911, p. 2, c 1. 
Meredith, Sol. Sketch of. Portrait. Richmond Palladium, Ma}^ 

17, 1911, sec 2, p. 7, c 2. 
Morton, O. P. Sketch of life. Richmond Palladium, May 17, 

1911, sec. 2, p. 3, c 1. 

Isaac Jenkinson tells of plot to kill Morton. Richmond 

Palladium, May 17, 1911, sec. 2, p. 6, c 1. 

Mormonism. Part played by an Indianian in the founding of 
Mormonism. Ind. Star, Apr. 23, 1911, mag. sec, p. 1. Terre 
Haute Star, Apr. 23, 1911, mag. sec, p. 1. Muncie Star, 
Apr. 23, 1911, sec 2, p. 1. 

Owen, Robert Dale. Life and work. Ind. Star, Mar. 1, 1911. 
p. 9, c 2. 

Services to women. Ed. Ind. Star, Mar. 2, 1911, p. 8, c 2. 

Bust unveiled. Ind. News, Mar. 2. 1911, p. 1, c 1. Ind. 

Star, Mar. 3, 1911, p. 18, c 4. 

Parker, Benjamin S. Death of. Ind. News, Mar. 14, 1911, p. 1, 
c 2. Muncie Press, Mar. 15, 1911, p. 6, c 3. 

Sketch of life. Muncie Press, Mar. 17, 1911, p. 8, c 4. 

Index of Historical Articles 85 

Politics. Indiana political history. South Bend Times, Apr. 4, 
1911, p. 6, c. 2; Apr. 24, p. 6. c. 2; Apr. 26, p. 8, c. 3 ; Apr. 27, 
p. 6, c. 2; Apr. 28, p. 8, c. 3 ; May 2, p. 6, c. 3; May 3, p. 6, 
c. 2; May 4, p. 6, c. 2; May 5, p. 8, c. 3 ; May 9, p. 6, c. 2; 
May 10, p. 8, c. 3; May 11, p. 6, c. 3; May 12, p. 8, c. 3; May 
13, p. 8, c. 3; May 15, p. 6, c. 3; May 16, p. 6, c. 3. 

Princeton. Founding of. Evansville Courier, May 29, 1911, p. 
3, c. 3. 

Redville, Ind. Story of village now deserted. Ind. News, Apr. 
29, 1911, p. 20, c. 2. 

Runcie, Constance Fauntleroy. Death of. Ind. News, May 17, 
1911, p. 7, c. 3. 

Slavery. Wayne county once abolition hotbed. Richmond Palla- 
dium, May 17, 1911, sec. 2, p. 5, c. 1. 

South Bend. History of its fire department. South Bend Times 
May 22, 1911, p. 10, c. 3. 

Stone. Old quarry methods in Indiana. Ind. Star, Apr. 9, 1911 
p. 7, c. 1. 

Stubbs, George W. Death of. Ind. News, Mar. 4, 1911, p. 5 
c. 2. Ind. Star, Mar. 4, 1911, p. 1, c. 7. 

Tell City. Founding of. Evansville Courier, May 29, 1911, p 
3, c. 4. 

Thompson, Gideon B. Death of. Ind. News. Mar. 24, 1911, p 
1, c. 1. Ind. Star, Mar. 25, 1911, p. 3, c. 1. 

Sketch by J. H. Holliday. Ind. News, Mar. 24, 1911, p. 8 

c. 1. 

Thurston, Joseph M. Experience as prisoner of war. Richmond 
Palladium, May 17, 1911, sec. 2, p. 2, c. 1. 

Vigo, Francis. Recalled by two residents of Vincennes. Ind. 
News, Mar. 18, 1911, p. 18, c. 4. 

Wabash River. Something of its history. Lafayette Courier, 
May 25, 1911, p. 9, c. 4. 

Wallace, Lew. Story of Wallace and James Wilson. Ind. News, 
May 4, 1911, p. 3, c. 1. 

Anecdote of first day's march from Ind. Ind. Star, Apr. 

18, 1911, p. 14, c. 6. 

Wylie, Andrew. Burial place of first president of Indiana Uni- 
versity. Muncie Star, May 15, 1911, p. 6, c. 5. 


Indiana State Library, Indianapolis 

Published by the Indiana Historical Society 

Christopher B. Coleman, Editor 



The attendance and the program of this meeting were rather 
above the average. Much credit for this is due the president of 
the section. Professor F. S. Bogardus, of the Indiana State Nor- 
mal School, who acted as host for the occasion. The program 
was carried out practically as announced, more time being given 
than has been customary to historical papers embodying actual 
contributions to history, a plan which seemed to meet the ap- 
proval of those in attendance. 

Among the papers presented were the following: "A Station 
of the Underground Railroad," [Newport] by W. D. Waldrip, 
of the Richmond High School. (This paper is printed in this 
number of the Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History.) "The 
Apology of Secession," by Professor James A. Woodburn, of 
Indiana University; "The Handling of Military Features of the 
Civil War," by W. P. Shortridge, of the Elkhart High School ; 
"The Meaning of the Lloyd-George Budget," by Professor C. 
Henry Smith, of Goshen College ; "The Reform of the House of 
Lords," by Professor T. F. Moran, of Purdue University; "The 
Use of Current Events as Illustrative Material," by Miss Minnie 
Weyl, of Indiana State Normal School, and "Making Pupils 
Think in History," by Miss Jennie McMullen, of the Terre 
Haute High School. 

Professor James A. Woodburn was elected president for the 
year 1911-12. The next annual meeting is to be held at Indiana 
University at Bloomington. 

Reviews of Books 87 

The fourth annual meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical 
Association was held in conjunction with the State Historical 
Society of Illinois and the North Central History Teacher?' 
Association on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, May 17-20, at 
Chicago and Evanston. 

The twenty-fifth annual meeting of the Henry County Histori- 
cal Society was held at Newcastle Thursday, April 27. It was 
largely a memorial service in honor of the late Benjamin S. 
Parker, a former honored and useful member of the society. Mr. 
Adolph Rogers is president of the society. 



[By Edward E. Moore. Illustrated, pp. 266, Ixxii. American 
Book Company, Cincinnati, 1911. 75 cents]. 

Senator Moore's book is entitled to high praise. It is an in- 
teresting, convenient and useful sketch of the history of Indiana. 
Largely taken up with political matters, and showing occasionally 
an inclination of undue friendliness for the Republican party, it 
gives considerable attention to the agricultural, industrial, social 
and educational progress of the State. The most serious omis- 
sion, perhaps, is the absence of any considerable notice of 
churches and of religious developments, with the exception of an 
inaccurate notice (p. 42) on the first Protestant preaching service 
in the State, corrected in a footnote, and an appendix upon the 
socialistic experiments of New Harmony which touches upon the 
religious views of the Rappites. 

The work is intended partly for use in schools and should be 
introduced into all school libraries of the State. It is elementary 
enough for use even in the grammar grades, and yet substantial 
and valuable enough for work in high schools. Its usefulness 
is increased by tables of statistics, and the present constitution 
of the State given in the appendix. 

88 Indiana Magazine of History 

From a critical point of view exception must be taken to 
several points. Modern study seems to point to a common stock 
as the aboriginal race of North America, including the Mound 
Builders, who should therefore be classed as Indians and not as 
a distinct race. W. H. Smith's History of Indiana is drawn on 
extensively, though ordinarily classed as a very poor historical 
authority. The capture of Quebec in 1759 did not complete the 
conquest of Canada, as stated on page 48, but was followed by 
a campaign against Montreal, which did not surrender until 
1760. Many other minor inaccuracies might be pointed out, but 
they do not prevent the book from being of great use as an 
introduction to the history of the State. It is not the highest 
authority upon the history of Indiana, but it is a very interesting 
sketch of its development. C. B. Coleman. 


The Yearbook of the Indiana Society of Sons of the Revolu- 
tion is out for the current year. It contains the history, constitu- 
tion, by-laws, instructions to applicants and a list of members. 
The officers for 1910-11 are: President, Hiram B. Patten; first 
vice-president, Horace C. Starr; second vice-president, George B. 
Lockwood; third vice-president, Albert O. Lockridge; fourth 
vice-president, Paul Comstock; secretary, Albert M. Bristor; 
treasurer, Charles Sumner Clancy ; registrar, Mark Dennis ; his- 
torian, Charles L. Barry ; chaplain, Rev. Lewis Brown ; chairman 
board of managers. William Allen Wood. 


Vol. VII SEPTEMBER, 1911 No. 3 


BV RUTH Mcculloch. 

PLYMOUTH Church, from 1877 to 1900, was a House of Life. 
^ So its pastor for fourteen years, Oscar C. McCulloch, named 
it and developed it, believing that Christ was sent to bring abun- 
dant life to the world and that the church as His special agency 
should carry on His work. 

The church doors stood open day and night — all week — ^with 
some three thousand people passing in and out for the Sunday 
services, lectures, entertainments, literary and instructive classes, 
reading-room, gymnasium, saving and loan association and phil- 
anthropic offices. Many can remember that large square red 
brick building without a steeple as it stood on Meridian and New 
York streets, with its open doors inviting all the city to a higher, 
fuller life. 

It was an "institutional church" in the days when such churches 
were few and were widely criticised. Now when every church 
has its wider reach into city life, and broader interpretation of 
the religious life as the whole life, it is hard to realize that this 
has come to pass within only thirty years, through the leadership 
of such pioneer workers as those of Plymouth Church. 

Mr. McCulloch in 1877 came from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, to 
this church, situated as it then was on the corner of Circle and 
Meridian streets, with a small and earnest membership desirous 
of a fuller religious life. His idea that the religious life comprises 
the social, home and business life, impelling towards justice, kind- 
liness and aspiration equally in all relations, found ready response 
in his congregation, as Christ's true and simple message. And 

90 Indiana Magazine of History 

they worked with him in carrying this message into practical 
application. He felt that as a minister his parish was the whole 
city ; so he took increasing share in civic and charitable eifforts, 
drawing with him his people as active helpers when help was 
needed. Thus Plymouth Church came to be recognized as a 
great center of living Christianity, civic altruism and culture, a 
true House of Life with open doors for all. 

The problems of the usefulness of his church, Mr. McCulloch 
took up with ardent enthusiasm. He brought to his ministry the 
influence of a cultured Wisconsin home, five years of active busi- 
ness life and practical philanthropic work, three years of definite 
theological study in the seminary and seven years of church work 
in Sheboygan. His spiritual insight, power of constructive 
thought, practical judgment and open-minded recognition of 
others' efiforts were great forces when allied with a winning per- 
sonality, a tender heart and high ideals. 

In his wide reading and travels he had collected many ideas 
that helped him in planning his work, and he was constantly in 
communication by letter and visit with authors and workers all 
over the country. Henry Ward Beecher, Lyman Abbot, Edward 
Everitt Hale, Jane Addams, Edward Eggleston, David Starr Jor- 
dan and others shared their experiences with him, while he drew 
rich inspiration and freshened outlook from the reading of old 
and new masters of thought in religion, science and economics 
The action of a consecrated purpose and energetic mind on these 
materials resulted in the building up of a uniquely useful and live 
church, the units of which were magnetized by the fervent love 
and steady light of their chosen leader. 

At this early time the life of the church consisted of the Sun- 
day-school, the morning and evening services, the Ladies' Union 
and the Young People's Society, lines of usefulness that developed 
under Mr. McCulloch's guidance into new helpfulness, of which 
more extended account will follow. Working with their pastor, 
the church soon gained momentum in its services and organiza- 
tion and attracted many new and earnest workers, a large per- 
centage of whom had not before been identified with church life. 

Plymouth Church — II 91 

By 1884 the congregation required a larger building in which 
to carry on its work and express its widening influence. By the 
sale of bonds, free contributions and careful attention to details 
of management, the large new church was erected. In the wide 
rooms and halls thus provided this House of Life grew to its 
fullest in ministry to thousands. 

It was felt by the membership that many of "the unchurched" 
were kept from spiritual fellowship by the rigid creed formerly 
demanded for admission to the church. Christ's simple words, 
"Come, follow me," to his first disciples, were considered to em- 
body the essential pledge to Christian life, the basic element in all 
statement of creed. It was therefore adopted as the one needful 
promise for alliance with the church, being expressed in the 
church constitution : 

"The idea of this church is that of a body of brethren and 
sisters, friends, associated for Christian work and worship. Its 
members strive to do to others as they would be done by, and to 
undertake such work as may be thought to lie within the scope of 
a Christian church. 

"As a church of Jesus Christ, gathered in His name and to do 
His work, we declare our union in faith and love with all who 
love Him. 

"We associate ourselves together for Christian worship and for 
Christian work, pledging ourselves to carry out the objects of this 

"These objects are : Public worship of God, weekly renewal 
of religious sympathies and affections, mutual acquaintance and 
assistance, and the alleviation, by physical and spiritual means, 
of poverty, ignorance, misery, vice and crime. 

"To carry out these objects, we pledge our time, our talents 
and our money according to our ability. 

"Come with us ; for the world needs you and yours." 

Attracted by this kindliness of welcome and simplicity of aspir- 
ation, men, women and children from all walks of life gathered 
for the services; teachers, commercial travelers, professional men, 
men of low degree as well as men of high degree, truly "all sorts 

92 Indiana Magazine of History 

and conditions of men," united in their belief in one fatherly God 
and His good purpose for their lives. 

Mr. McCulloch's sermons, morning and evening, conveyed his 
thought to his people with the force of sincerity and clearness. 
He was close to God and drew others into nearness also, as he 
explained God's presence in all the things of the world and His 
will in personal lives. His words brought light to the bewildered, 
comfort to the sorrowing and energy to the eager. He pointed 
out the good wherever found, and talked of it in such a way as 
to make others desire it. He urged all to find their God-imposed 
task of usefulness and to perform it for the Larger Good. As 
Good thrilled him, so Wrong aroused his opposition. He studied 
and denounced from the pulpit all selfishness and cruelty, either 
individual or collective, keeping well abreast of daily occurrences 
that were occupying men's minds and claiming their activities. 
On the burning questions of capital punishment, wages and labor, 
prison conditions, war, industrial evils, etc., he took a courage- 
ously definite stand on highest ethical grounds, urging each indi- 
vidual's responsibility for right, strong action in regard to them. 

The congregations were large, often testing the capacity of the 
building — even many being unable to enter because of the pres- 
sure. It was his observation that the evening services drew the 
most needy and wistful souls, and he made particular effort to 
feed and satisfy them. His word was always helpful and illumi- 
nating, but he added on occasion illustrated talks and musical 
services. Once a month the evening sermon was illustrated with 
stereopticon pictures thrown upon the screen. A series on the 
Life of Christ was given with all the beautiful world-known por- 
trayal of it in picture and music. Another series was the Inspira- 
tional Poems of the World, including Burns's "Cotter's Saturday 
Night" and religious poems of Whittier. Another evening was 
given to "Our Dumb Animals," with famous pictures by Land- 
seer and Rosa Bonheur, with a lesson on kindness to animals. 

Many of these slides were made to order from copies of pic- 
tures obtained by Mr. McCulloch in his travels. The collection 
became widely known and was sent for and used in other cities. 

Plymouth Church — II 93 

Not only through the eye was the imagination of the people 
kindled but through the ear also, for Plymouth Church possessed 
a great organ with special attachments which was the delight of 
all performers and music-lovers in the city. The monthly song 
services with organ-harmonies were eagerly watched for and 
attended. The pastor published a collection of Hymns of Faith 
and Hope, drawn from all sources, for the use of his church. 

Mr. McCulloch loved children dearly, seeing in them what 
Christ saw of innate good and trust and right impulse, seeking 
guidance in a difficult world. His personal relationship with 
them was very beautiful and tender. He gathered them about 
him for stories or excursions into the fields and woods for flowers 
or nuts or watching the birds, seeing God in all nature. Often 
the children were invited to an afternoon romp in the big church- 
room upstairs; or for games and refreshment; or a dolls' recep- 
tion. In his morning sermon a special story-talk always came 
first for the children, enjoyed keenly also by their elders, and they 
took part in the services at Christmas, Easter and Children's Day, 
when they each received a potted plant or bulb. Thus they felt 
their place in the church life. These children, now mature men 
and women, speak of this early influence with appreciation and 

In the primary grade of the Sunday-school the then new kin- 
dergarten methods were introduced, following Froebel's ideas of 
sense and thought connection. Simple songs, Bible stories and 
nature studies were provided. A study of Christ's life was ar- 
ranged for pupils of the older classes, with special emphasis on 
character development, thus making the connection evident be- 
tween the Old Story and the young life studying it, seeking a way 
to imitate it. Adult classes studied under earnest teachers cer- 
tain helpful inspirational books, such as Carpenter's "Three Gos- 
pels." The Sunday-school song-book contained cheerful and 
melodious songs, old and new, that the children loved to sing. 
They formed choruses under skilled leaders and had an orchestra 
of many instruments. Each child made a weekly pledge of money 
that enabled the school to be not only self-sustaining but to con- 

94 Indiana Magazine of History 

tribute generously to the Orphan Asylum, the Newsboys' Home, 
and the Coal Mine Mission. This developed altruism and a sense 
of business responsibility. 

The women of the church were organized into the Ladies' 
Union, meeting monthly for charitable sewing, church-house- 
keeping, money-raising, home missions and other combinations 
of effort. The idea of a monthly church supper and social was 
carried out with great success, drawing great numbers and creat- 
ing general cordial relations. 

Mr. McCulloch collected and published a book of songs, known 
as Plymouth Songs, containing such old favorites as "The Old 
Oaken Bucket," "Marching Through Georgia," "Home, Sweet 
Home," "It's a Way We Have at Plymouth," etc. Singing these 
lustily together promoted great friendliness and pleasure and 
made the socials memorable. 

Once on a visit among the poor he found a new-born baby 
wrapped only in a gunny-sack, as no preparation had been pos- 
sible for the poor, sick and discouraged mother. The Maternity 
Society was immediately organized in the Ladies' Union and 
many little garments were made in anticipation of such need. 
This source of supply became known throughout the city and was 
freely drawn upon as occasion required. 

The Young People's Circle was a great source of energetic life 
in the church, enlisting as it did all the primitive and newly 
awakened forces in combined effort. The same principle was 
utilized in a particular way among the young girls composing the 
King's Daughters Circle, affording an opportunity for usefulness 
and help among them. Mr. McCulloch realized that people be- 
came more intimately acquainted and ripened into friendships 
quicker when working together in the accomplishment of a 
worthy purpose — at the same time developing their abilities. He 
had keen discernment in perceiving the abilities of people and in 
setting them to work. In addition to these regular branches of 
church work there was the Thursday evening meeting for prayer 
and communion and "conversation on ideals." 

The institutional features that were distinctive developed grad- 

Plymouth Church — II 95 

ually and naturally as the idea of a fuller life through the educa- 
tion of faculties materialized and the eager workers became anx- 
ious to reach other lives wistful for higher opportunity. This 
was before the day of Y. AI. C. A. classes, the night schools and 
settlement houses. 

A reading room was established, supplied with a large number 
of books, magazines and papers. Centrally located as it was, it 
became very popular and during the day and evening was in 
steady use. 

The Indianapolis Lecture Course, for many years a great fea- 
ture of Plymouth life, brought noted speakers, home and foreign, 
every two weeks to talk on the great themes of the day. Beecher, 
Matthew Arnold, Canon Farrar, Henry George, Justin McCarthy, 
Senator Bruce, Booker Washington. Lew ^^^allace and x\melia 
Edwards were among the prominent workers in all fields who 
contributed to the "more abundant" life of Indianapolis. The 
prices were nominal — five lectures for a dollar — and the crowded 
houses sustained the lecture course. The Plymouth auditorium 
was an open forum and any entertainment that was intellectually 
worthy and contributed to the higher life was welcome. Some- 
times a famous entertainer would read or recite, or a noted singer 
or instrumentalist would occupy an evening. Thus many tired 
minds were refreshed, flagging spirits were stimulated and thou- 
sands had happier and fuller life because of Plymouth and its 
ministry in Indianapolis. 

A gymnasium was fitted up in the basement for the boys and 
men and young women, in charge of competent instructors, and 
the opportunity was much used for physical development and 
athletic enjoyment. 

To develop thrift and habits of business along right lines, The 
Plymouth Saving and Loan Association was established to en- 
courage small savings and to make loans at low interest rate. 
Laboring people of all ages were thus enabled to make their de- 
posits — dimes, quarters or dollars — weekly, at interest, making a 
beginning toward future competence or the inevitable "rainy 
day." It was one of the first endeavors of the kind in the State 
and resulted in much good. 

96 Indiana Magazine of History 

A travel class met twice a month to roam in imagination over 
the world. Its motto was, "He knows no land who only knows 
his own." They studied the great cities of Europe by book, stere- 
opticon and descriptions of eye-witnesses ; and in 1891 the class 
took a three months' trip abroad under Mr. McCulloch's guid- 
ance, visiting the places they had studied. 

Mr. McCulloch's business training and natural aptitude for 
organization were constantly employed in the conduct and man- 
agement of these varied lines of work. He was always able to 
arouse the interest and energies of those about him, and was thus 
able to relegate much of the work to responsible committees ; but 
he was ex-officio chairman of every committee and saw to it that 
things were done. He made great use of publicity methods, in 
leaflets, circulars, cards of special appeal, newspaper channels, 
etc. The entire Plymouth enterprise was managed in accordance 
with strict business methods. 

As the need appeared, classes were formed to study mathe- 
matics, domestic economy, literature, stenography, civics and 
any subject that a given number of people desired to study. This 
was known as the Plymouth Institute, opened in 1884, " a school 
for busy people." Instruction was offered at a low rate, thus re- 
munerating earnest teachers, and enabling servants and other 
day workers in office, store or factory to spend their evenings 
in enlarging their cramped faculities, in acquiring knowledge 
and fellowship and higher training. This work developed rapid- 
ly and some of the classes became famous in the city. Special 
Browning, Hawthorne and Emerson studies were notably pur- 

Friday afternoon lectures on historical subjects pertaining to 
our state and country, filled the auditorium successively for a 
long period with school children. Men and women of note from 
near and far talked on such themes as, "Women of the Revolu- 
tion," "The Indians," "Pioneer Life in Indiana," "Mexico," 
"Heinrich Hudson's Voyage in the Half Moon," "William 
Penn," etc. It was a similar movement to that carried on by the 
Old South Church in Boston and was very successful in con- 

Plymouth Church — II 97 

veying impressions of the heroic life lived to establish peace and 
welfare in our common country. "Boys are scarcer than dollars," 
was an impelling thought with Mr. McCulloch. "Good boys will 
make good men ; let us help them by showing them noble ex- 
amples in our history." 

The church auditorium was open to outside engagements — 
high school graduation exercises, conventions of teachers and 
civic gatherings. In a special room upstairs, the Indianapolis 
Literary Club held its weekly meetings for fifteen years. The 
ladies of the Flower Mission made headquarters here for the 
planning and execution of their tender work. Every room in the 
house was occupied almost constantly by groups of eager people 
engaged in some branch of the Father's business. One-half of 
the lower floor of the administration part of the building was 
occupied permanently by the offices of the Charity Organization 
Society and the Indianapolis Benevolent Society, and hither came 
not only all who were engaged in carrying on these instrumental- 
ities, but the weary poor driven to the limit by their deprivations 
and troubles. 

In 1878 Mr. McCulloch had accepted the presidency of the 
Benevolent Society, then at so low an ebb of vitality that the 
propriety of disbanding was under consideration. He was im- 
mediately interested in the possibilities of helpful work and made 
suggestions as to feasible activities with such enthusiasm that the 
leadership was unanimously bestowed upon him ; and he was 
re-elected year after year until his death in 1891. 

In taking up this work for the whole city he studied the situa- 
tion carefully and began the institution of thorough measures 
of relief, the uppermost ideas being systematization of all the 
charities of the city and the education of the needy to self-help, 
and thus the prevention of pauperism. Prominent men of the 
city worked with him in planning and execution. Every case 
of need was recorded. Investigation was the basis of relief. The 
strictly meritorious and those down temporarily and because of 
chance misfortune were recognized ; those who followed alms- 
taking as a trade or business, and were always dependent, were 

98 Indiana Magazine; of History 

recognized, also, as the problem to be solved in the last analysis 
of benevolence. Out of this came the data that made possible his 
treatise on "The Tribe of Ishmael," a study of progressive family 
degeneracy running back through several generations to a single 
pair whose progeny, at the writing, numbered over three thou- 
sand souls. 

The Charity Organization Society was formulated in 1880 as 
a "clearing house" in the administration of intelligent help. Ap- 
plicants for relief were referred to various allied organizations, 
such as the Orphan Asylum ; the Friendly Inn and wood-yard, 
where work and relief were associated ; the Flower Mission, 
with trained nurses if needed ; or to some one of the many 
church agencies, the township relief officer, etc. County asylums 
and prisons throughout the State were visited and studied with a 
view to better care of the inmates and agitation for reforms. 
The Children's Aid Society and Free Kindergarten undertook 
the great task of caring for and training dependent and neglected 

Authority was sought in the Legislature for the establishment 
of a Board of Children's Guardians with legal power to protect 
children against the abuse and evil influences of unworthy 
parents. This law has resulted in great good to hundreds of 
children during the years since, in being separated from their 
vicious parents and placed in good homes. 

The workhouse, free bath and a dime saving association were 
other lines of work started by the awakened altruism at this 
time. The Summer Mission for sick babies and their mothers at 
Fairview Park was begun at this time and has grown and ex- 
tended into large proportions. Cottages have been built and 
furnished year after year, by the McCulloch Club, churches and 
enthusiastic individuals, until a small village has arisen, the 
original cottage having been christened "McCulloch Cottage." 

Much might be said concerning each of these efforts in detail, 
as they are still operative and well-known for their effective help- 
fulness. They make a long chapter in the life story of one man ; 
of his initiative, his executive capacity and success in enlisting 
helpers for the time and those upon whom his mantle fell. 

Plymouth Church — II 99 

In all these efforts Mr. McCulloch and his church were leading 
actors. Great labor was called for in arousing and molding 
public opinion and in effecting the organization and support of 
the various measures. His courage and energy and wisdom 
were unflagging. As the work developed rapidly the Indiana 
associated charities became foremost in the country for effec- 
tiveness. In 1890 Mr. McCulloch was elected president of the 
National Conference of Charities and Correction, and the 1891 
meeting was held in Plymouth Church. This was in May, and 
was the last public appearance of Mr. McCulloch in connection 
with the charities to which he had given so much of his life and 

After his death in December, 1891, the church activities con- 
tinued as before for some time, but without the moving enthu- 
siasm lent by their instigator. Under the pastorate of Mr. Dew- 
hurst, who succeeded him, a neighborhood settlement house was 
opened in a congested quarter of the city where good influences 
were exerted by classes and club work. In 1903 the church prop- 
erty was taken by the general government for the erection of 
the post office building, and the institutional character of the 
church was changed by its up-town location. 

But in its life it had started forces that will never die. It had 
demonstrated the usefulness of the church as a House of Life 
for a city's people ; inasmuch as the people who met there lived 
better lives for it. The organizations born there are still existing 
in higher development, though in new offices and in some cases 
under new names. For they were based on true principles of 
service to human need in its many phases. Indianapolis is a 
city known far for its well-organized charities, and for its general 
culture, largely because a church door stood open all day, and 
every day and night, instead of three hours a week. 



THE paper on "The Development of State Constitutions," 
read by Professor Coleman before the Illinois Historical 
Association, and published in the Indiana Quarterly Magazine of 
History for June, 1911, contains a passage which seems to me 
to call for some correction, in the interest of historical accuracy. 
It is as follows : 

"Governor Marshall has this year embarked in a revolutionary 
scheme of procuring the passage in the Legislature, by the sup- 
port of the Democratic members, of a bill submitting a new con- 
stitution to the people and providing means of counting the 
Democratic party as a vote for the constitution. The present 
constitution, while it provides a required process for amendment, 
makes no provision for the calling of another constitutional con- 
vention, nor does it make any mention of the possibility of a 
new constitution. Governor Marshall and members of the Legis- 
lature have argued that this leaves the door open for the Legis- 
lature to submit a new constitution to the people. As far as 
Indiana is concerned, however, there would be just as much 
precedent for the Governor himself submitting a new constitution 
to the people without the intervention of the Legislature. All 
precedents call for a constitutional convention. If, on the other 
hand, the new constitution be, as is claimed by the opposition, 
not in fact a new constitution, but a series of amendments to the 
old, the whole procedure is plainly unconstitutional." 

Although this is a feature of current history, it will probably 
occur to the reader that, for the present at least, the matter is 
political rather than historical ; and I confess that my chief 
interest in it is political, though I think it is so in the best sense 
of the word. The chief end of the proposed constitution is to 
secure honest elections; and I believe that, without honest elec- 
tions, republican government is a sham and a mockery. For 

The Proposed Constitution of Indiana 101 

that reason, for nearly twenty-five years, I have done all that was 
in my power to secure honest elections in Indiana. 

In 1888, as secretary of the self-appointed committee that pre- 
pared the Australian Ballot law for submission to the Legisla- 
tion, I drafted that law, substantially as it was adopted, and as 
is still stands. It made a great improvement in the elections of 
the State, but there are some weak spots in it that can be reached 
only by change in the constitution. The central purpose of the 
Australian system is to enforce an absolutely secret ballot. It 
cannot prevent a man from selling his vote, but it aims to prevent 
a corrupt voter from proving that he voted as he agreed with 
his purchaser. 

As the present constitution of Indiana gives suffrage to illiter- 
ate voters, no valid law could provide a system of election under 
which illiterates could not vote, and the only feasible mode of 
evading this difficulty was to allow the poll clerks to mark their 
ballots for them. Unfortunately this has become a common means 
for vote-buying — the poll clerks, in violation of their oaths, sig- 
nalling to the purchaser how the vote has been cast. As there 
were over 40,000 illiterate voters in Indiana in 1900, and there 
are many more now, the menace of this defect is obvious ; and it 
is the more so because many of these illiterates are unnaturalized 
foreigners, who are allowed to vote in Indiana on "declaration 
of intention" to naturalize, after only six months' residence in 
the State. Many of them have no real intention of becoming 
citizens, and, have no interest in elections, beyond the sale of 
their votes. This evil is so apparent, and so appalling, that it 
would be painful indeed, if, when the people finally have oppor- 
tunity to vote to remove it, the reform should be lost through 
any popular misunderstanding of the right of the people to alter 
their form of government. 

This right of the people is fundamental in American govern- 
ment. It can be no more plainly stated than in the declaration 
of our present constitution : "The people have, at all times, an 
indefeasible right to alter and reform their government." The 
constitution of 1816 called it "an inalienable and indefeasible 

102 Indiana Magazine of History 

right to alter or reform their government in such manner as they 
may think proper," but the meaning is the same. A right that 
is "indefeasible" is "inalienable." It cannot be taken away, or 
given away, or lost in any manner. Moreover, it is a legal right 
and not a revolutionary right. It is not conferred by the con- 
stitution, but is recognized by it. No right recognized by the 
constitution is "revolutionary." The constitution is the funda- 
mental law of the State, and only such things as are in violation 
of it are "revolutionary." 

This brings us to Professor Coleman's first erroneous state- 
ment of facts, that, "Governor Marshall has this year embarked 
on a revolutionary scheme." In what sense is it "revolutionary"? 
A revolution is "the overthrow of an established political sys- 
tem." Nothing is overthrown here. All that is done is to pro- 
vide for allowing the people to exercise their indefeasible and 
constitutional right of voting on a question of altering their 
constitution. The utmost that is claimed by any one is that the 
Legislature exceeded its constitutional power in submitting the 
question, I deny this ; but even if it were true, every unconstitu- 
tional act passed by the Legislature would be equally "revolu- 
tionary." The use of the word by Professor Coleman in this 
connection must be classed as mere unfounded epithet, and not 
as impartial historical statement. 

Of like character is the statement that the "scheme" provides 
"means of counting the Democratic party vote as a vote for the 
constitution." By this Professor Coleman reduces the adoption 
of a principle of vast importance to the narrow limits of tem- 
porary party expediency. He overlooks the fact that the prin- 
ciple of party action is made open to all parties; and not only 
on this occasion, but also as to all future proposals for amend- 
ments. He overlooks the fact that the same principle has been 
adopted in Nebraska and Ohio, and that it has been upheld by 
the supreme courts of both those States as constitutional, in- 
stead of being pronounced "revolutionary." 

But worst of all, he overlooks the reason of the provision. 
The obstacles that have commonly been placed in the way of 

The Proposed Constitution of Indiana 103 

constitutional changes by the various States are not for the 
purpose of preventing such changes — the States all concede ex- 
pressly the right of the people to change their constitution at 
will — but merely to insure due consideration of the changes pro- 
posed. In practice all these expedients have failed, and, as we 
have learned by experience in Indiana, it is almost impossible to 
get the people to consider such questions, or even to vote on 
them. This has led thinking men to the conclusion that the one 
way to insure the consideration of a constitutional change, or 
any other question, by the American public, is to make it a 
political issue. The correctness of this view is already demon- 
strated in Indiana. The proposed constitution has already re- 
ceived more consideration than any constitution or constitu- 
tional amendment ever submitted in this State ; and it is safe 
to say that by the time it is voted on it will have received fuller 
consideration than any constitution ever voted on in America, 
with possibly the exception of the constitution of the United 

Let us now pass to the legislative power of initiation, which 
is denied by Professor Coleman. It has become so common in 
this country for newspapers and individuals to criticise and be- 
little legislatures, that the public has almost lost sight of the 
fact that the legislators are "the representatives of the people," 
and are clothed with sovereign power as to legislation. The con- 
stitution of Indiana vests "the legislative authority of the State" 
in the General Assembly ; and the Supreme Court has repeatedly 
decided that, "The legislative authority of this State is the right 
to exercise supreme and sovereign power, subject to no restric- 
tions except those imposed by our constitution, by the Federal 
constitution, and by the laws and treaties made under it." (101 
Ind., p. 564.) Unless such a restriction is pointed out — and in 
this case none has been or can be pointed out — nobody can 
properly call an exercise of legislative power "revolutionary." 
Any legislative action, not constitutionally prohibited, is regular 
and legal, by the provisions of the constitution itself, and by the 
established rulings of the highest courts. The initiative steps for 

104 Indiana Magazine of History 

the adoption of a new constitution are necessarily legislative. 
They are neither executive nor judicial, and they cannot be taken 
by the people themselves. The Supreme Court of the United 
States has decided that constitutional reform must be initiated by 
the legislature, if there be one in existence. (7 Howard, p. 1.) 

But Professor Coleman appeals to precedent, and says that 
"all precedents call for a constitutional convention." Let us con- 
sider this question, and first the definition and function of prece- 
dent. Under the unwritten constitution of Great Britain, prece- 
dent is everything in deciding what the constitution is, for Par- 
liament can change the constitution at will, and there is no way 
of determining its provisions but by the precedents of Parlia- 
mentary action. But even in Great Britain these precedents 
impose no restriction on action, because Parliament can over- 
ride any precedent, and, indeed, must necessarily do so when- 
ever it amends the constitution. 

In the United States we have written constitutions, which pre- 
scribe the powers of the several departments of government, 
and precedents are of only secondary importance. The main 
question here is, what does the constitution say ; and precedent 
is of use chiefly as an interpretation, or construction, of the 
written provision. Of necessity there can never be any precedent 
for anything that is done for the first time ; and if the exercise 
of sovereign power were limited by precedent, instead of by 
definition or principle, it would be impossible to provide for 
any new emergency. For example, there was no precedent for 
the Legislature in this State concerning natural gas, and no pro- 
vision for it contemplated in the constitution, because nobody 
ever dreamed of natural gas before it was discovered. But the 
sovereign power of legislation, vested in the General Assembly, 
gave ample authority for its full regulation. 

Professor Coleman states that the present constitution "makes 
no provision for the calling of another constitutional convention," 
and it does not, in express terms ; but it covers the ground when 
it vests "the legislative authority of the State" in the General 
Assembly. He says, "nor does it make any mention of the pos- 

The Pkoposed Constitution of Indiana 105 

sibility of an new constitution ;" but it certainly does mention 
"the possibility," in the words, "the people have, at all times, 
an indefeasible right to alter and reform their government." 
These are not mere abstractions. Under similar, and no stronger 
provisions, thirty new constitutions have been adopted in States 
of the Union, which, like Indiana, had no express constitutional 
provisions for new constitutions, and most of which, like Indiana, 
had express provisions for special amendments to the constitu- 

It is quite true that most of the new or proposed constitu- 
tions of the American States have been prepared by constitu- 
tional conventions ; but it is not true, as Professor Coleman 
states, that "all precedents call for a constitutional convention." 
In all of the thirteen original States but Delaware and Mas- 
sachusetts, the first constitutions were prepared by the Legisla- 
tures. The first constitution of Nebraska (1866) was prepared 
by the territorial Legislature, and adopted by the people. The 
State was admitted to the Union under it, and continued under 
it till 1875. In 1874, the Legislature of Michigan submitted a 
complete constitution to a vote of the people, without the inter- 
vention of a constitutional convention. In 1898 the Legislature 
of Rhode Island prepared and submitted a complete constitu- 
tion to the people, and resubmitted it in 1899. 

This last action was something more than a precedent, for 
the supreme judges of Rhode Island, in 1883, had given a formal 
opinion (not a decision) that the Legislature had no power to 
call a constitutional convention. (14 R. I., p. 649.) The Rhode 
Island constitution, however, provided for special amendment, 
and the proposed new constitution was submitted to the people, 
by the Legislature, as an "amendment" to the existing constitu- 
tion. It should be remembered, in this connection, that this 
opinion of the Rhode Island judges was given without hearing 
arguments, and apparently without intelligent thought. Its 
chief reason for denying the "power" of the Legislature to call 
a convention, was that all necessary changes might be made by 
special amendment. This position is so absurd that the opinion 

106 Indiana Magazine; op History 

has been ignored by every other State in the Union, and it stands 
to-day alone — an unique monument to judicial fallibility. 

But, it may be urged that these are not Indiana precedents. 
As to this, another incident of written constitutions must be 
remembered. To constitute a precedent there must not only 
be similar action, but it must be under similar constitutional 
provisions. There could not be any exact precedent, in Indiana, 
for any line of action at present, in the adoption of a new con- 
stitution, because there never has been any such action in this 
State under the present constitutional provisions, or anything 
resembling them. The constitutional convention of 1816 was 
elected under an enabling act of Congress, which provided for 
the election of delegates exactly as delegates to the territorial 
House of Representatives, of the same number and qualifications, 
and from the same districts. At that time the people elected only 
the representatives in the Legislature, and these nominated ten 
citizens, from whom Congress selected five to act as a council, 
or upper house of the Legislature. 

The enabling act authorized this body to meet, and to "first 
determine, by a majority of the whole number elected, whether 
it be or not expedient at that time to form a constitution and 
State government for the people within the said Territory; and 
if it be determined to be expedient the convention shall be, and 
hereby are authorized to form a constitution and State govern- 
ment ; or, if it be deemed more expedient, the said convention 
shall provide by ordinance for electing representatives to form 
a constitution or frame of government, which said representa- 
tives shall be chosen in such manner, and in such proportion, and 
shall meet at such time and place as shall be prescribed by the 
said ordinance ; and shall then form for the people of said Terri- 
tory a constitution and State government." 

This provision giving to a body elected as an ordinary Legis- 
lature the power either to adopt a constitution or to call a 
constitutional convention was also used in the enabling acts of 
Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. In all the other enabling acts pro- 
vision is made for the direct election of a constitutional conven- 

The Proposed Constitution of Indiana 107 

tion, excepting that of Wisconsin. In that case the provision was 
simply that the people might adopt a constitution, and the mode 
of procedure was left to be fixed by the territorial Legislature. 
In Indiana the delegates elected decided to act as a convention, 
and not only framed a constitution, but also adopted it without 
submitting it to the people. The enacting clause of this con- 
stitution reads : "We, the representatives of the people of the 
territory of Indiana * * * do ordain and establish the fol- 
lowing constitution or form of government; and do mutually agree 
with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State, 
by the name of the State of Indiana." 

At the adoption of the second constitution of Indiana, the 
General Assembly was a body of the same character as at pres- 
ent; and it controlled the proceeding throughout. The consti- 
tution of 1816 provided that "every twelfth year after this con- 
stitution shall have taken effect" a vote of the people should be 
taken on the question of holding a convention. If they favored 
it, and "a majority of all the members elected to both branches 
of the General Assembly" agreed to it, a convention was to be 
called, "which convention, when met, shall have it in their 
power to revise, amend, or change the constitution." In other 
words, the constitution conferred on the second convention the 
same power that had been exercised by the first convention, of 
adopting a constitution without submitting it to the people. 

This provision of the constitution was wholly disregarded. 
No vote of the people on the question of calling a convention was 
taken in 1828, or in 1840. In 1849 the General Assembly provided 
for a vote "for or against the calling of a convention to alter, 
revise or amend the constitution," and the vote favored it. In 
1850 the General Assembly passed a law for a convention, but 
for a convention without the powers prescribed by the constitu- 
tion of 1816, and by the vote of 1849. It provided that when the 
convention should have agreed on the form of the constitution, 
"The roll containing the draught of the amended constitution 
adopted by said convention, and the proceedings of said conven- 
tion, shall be deposited by the president and secretary thereof, in 

108 Indiana Magazine of History 

the office of the Secretary of State." The Secretary was to cer- 
tify a copy to the Governor, who was to lay it before the next 
General Assembly; and it was to submit the proposed constitu- 
tion to a vote of the people. 

The convention was held as thus provided, in all respects. It 
did not attempt to exercise the powers given by the constitution, 
but confined itself to the duties prescribed by the Legislature. 
It did not even submit the constitution it prepared to a vote of 
the people. That was done by the act of the General Assembly 
of February 14, 1851. The whole action was not only without 
precedent, but in disregard of the provisions of the existing con- 
stitution. It can be justified only on the ground that the Legis- 
lature, under its general authority, has the power to submit to 
a vote of the people any question of fundamental law, if it be 
not expressly prohibited by the constitution. It was defended 
on that ground, in the convention of 1851, by Robert Dale Owen, 
in his argument for the adoption of the system of special amend- 
ment contained in the present constitution, in these words : 

"I am not prepared to say as to how far the abstract right of 
the Legislature extends in regard to submitting to the popular 
vote propositions of amendment; nor am I prepared to say that 
as a -matter of abstract right they may not do so whenever 
they think it proper and expedient. But I say if you insert such 
a provision as this, placing no greater check than that of requir- 
ing two successive Legislatures to act affirmatively upon the 
question before it shall be submitted to the people, I am con- 
vinced that it will be entirely satisfactory." (Debates, p. 1939.) 

It will be generally conceded that, so far as the disregard 
of existing constitutional provisions is concerned, the action of 
1851 would be very dangerous to adopt as a valid precedent for 
future action. ,^And yet it will be almost as fully conceded that 
the requirement of the Legislature that the constitution be sub- 
mitted to the people, was far wiser than the provision of the con- 
stitution of 1816 that the convention might finally adopt a new 
constitution, without submitting it to the people. In any event, 
the action of 1851 cannot be invoked as a precedent for the posi- 

The Proposed Constitution op Indiana 109 

tion that, when the constitution is silent on the subject, tlie 
Legislature has no power to decide on the course of procedure 
in submitting a new constitution to the people. The General 
Assembly of 1850, in its exercise of discretionary power, went 
far beyond anything that is proposed at present. 

And while, from the standpoint of precedent alone, there are 
these examples of exercise of legislative authority for the sub- 
mission of a constitution to a vote of the people, in Indiana and 
in other States of the Union, there cannot be shown, in all the 
history of Great Britain, or of the United States, a solitary case 
where an executive undertook to submit a constitution to the 
people. What then shall be said of the historical accuracy of 
Professor Coleman's statement that, "As far as Indiana is con- 
cerned, however, there would be just as much precedent for 
the Governor himself submitting a new constitution to the 
people without the intervention of the Legislature?" 

There remains Professor Coleman's final statement: "If, on the 
other hand, the new constitution be, as is claimed by the opposi- 
tion, not in fact a new constitution, but a series of amendments 
to the old, the whole procedure is plainly unconstitutional." 
This claim is a mere verbal quibble, based on confusion of the 
ordinary and the legal meanings of the word "amendment." In 
law, the distinction between "amendment" and "revision," or 
"new enactment," is one of form and not of subject matter; and 
this is so universally and firmly established as to all classes of 
written instruments that it is unquestionable. For example, sup- 
pose I make a will, and later desire to change it in some respect ; 
if I rewrite the will, including the change, it is a new will ; if I 
merely add a codicil to the old will, containing the new pro- 
vision, it is an amended will. 

As to statute lav,^ the decisions are numerous, for most of the 
States provide, as Indiana does, that, "No act shall ever be revised 
or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised 
or section amended shall be set forth and published at length." 
Obviously, if you repeal a part of an act, and let the remainder 
stand, you "amend" that act, in the ordinary sense of the word. 

110 Indiana Magazine; of History 

But at every session of the Legislature acts are "amended" in 
this sense, by new laws which repeal "all laws and parts of laws 
in conflict herewith," but do not set forth what remains in force 
of the laws so affected. It is the universal decision of the courts 
that such laws are valid because they are not "amendments" in 
form, but "new enactments." 

As to constitutions, I know of but one case where the question 
was ever raised. It is evident that if a new or proposed consti- 
tution is in fact mere "amendment," its character is not changed 
by the mode of presentation ; and, in consequence, if the present 
proposed constitution had been adopted by a convention, word 
for word, and the claim that it is "amendment" only were sound, 
it could not be submitted to a vote of the people, under the pro- 
visions of our present constitution, until it had been adopted by 
two successive Legislatures. This exact question was raised as 
to the Louisiana constitution of 1898, which was attacked on 
the ground that it was not really a new constitution, but only an 
amendment of the old one. The Supreme Court of Louisiana 
promptly disposed of the point on the ground of form, saying : 
"If it be an amendment, counsel's proposition is undoubtedly 
correct, but we think it is manifestly incorrect. * * * j^ (^^j^g 
instrument) is, in our opinion, exactly what it purports to be, 
a constitution, and not an amendment to an existing constitu- 
tion." (51 La. An., p. 434.) 

I have devoted so much space to this subject because, to me, 
the purification of the suffrage, which is the central feature of 
the proposed constitution, is a matter of pressing and vital im- 
portance to the American people. I submit to any sane man the 
question, "What does popular government amount to if the 
electorate be debauched?" Is it less a hollow mockery than a 
jury trial in which the jurors are for sale to the highest bidder? 
Every American who is at all familiar with practical politics 
knows that the existing situation is most lamentable ; and I 
should think that those who hold aloof from politics, but who 
read such revelations as recently came from Adams county, 
Ohio, would be appalled. Cannot the conscience of the people 

The Proposed Constitution of Indiana 111 

be aroused? Can they not be impressed with the solemn force 
of that sentiment of the Ordinance of 1787: "Religion, morality 
and knowledge, being necessary to good government, and the 
happiness of mankind" — not essential to the individual merely, 
but to the public welfare? We are making not only history, but 
also conditions that will have vast weight on the future. In 
heaven's name, let us at least try to make them such that pos- 
terity will not have just cause to curse this generation. I feel 
at liberty to say that to Governor Marshall the purification of 
the suffrage is the chief feature of the proposed constitution ; 
and I believe that future generations will be grateful for his 
effort to remove the existing evil, even though some of his con- 
temporaries may condemn him for it. 



[This article appears also in the Indianapolis News, September 2, 1911. 
Mr. Dunn has long been interested in matters pertaining- to Henry "Ward 
Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe. — Editor.] 

APROPOS of the new biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, 
by her son, Charles Edward Stowe, and her grandson, 
Lyman Beecher Stowe, there is a side light on the biographical 
accuracy of the former that is of especial interest to Indiana 
people, in the remarkable letter from him published in the last 
number of the Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History, in the 
article, "A Station of the Underground Railroad," by W. D. 
Waldrip, teacher of history in the Richmond high school. The 
article refers to the activities of Levi Cofitin, "president of the 
underground railroad," at Newport, Wayne county (now Foun- 
tain City), Indiana. Mr. Waldrip states that he obtained much 
of his information from John Wright Johnson, an aged Quaker 
preacher, and a nephew of Levi Coffin, who, among other things, 
told him that "Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe had visited Newport 
twice, once while he was at the home of Mr. Coffin, and once in 
after years," and that "much of the information about slave life, 
and particularly the story of Eliza, was secured by Mrs. Stowe 
at Newport." Desiring further information, Mr. Waldrip wrote 
to Charles Edward Stowe, and received in answer the letter 
printed on pages 67 and 68 (Vol. VII, No. 2, June, 1911), of 
the Indiana Quarterly Magazine of History, part of which is as 
follows : 

"With regard to the story of the visit of Mrs. Stowe to the 
house of the old Quaker, Mr. Coffin, you know as much as I do, 
and that is nothing at all. I doubt, if Mrs. Stowe was still living 
and in possession of her faculties, if she would remember any- 
thing about it. She always said herself that the orginal of Eliza 

Indiana's Part in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 113 

was a young woman and her child, who were taken off the place 
of old Van Sant at night by Professor Stowe and Henry Ward 
Beecher. Yet I think it by all means probable that there was a 
foundation to the story and it was not made up entirely of whole 
cloth. I do not know that Mrs. Stowe was ever in Indiana. 
She was in narrow circumstances for eighteen years after the 
marriage of my father and had heavy cares. She would not 
have gone to Indiana without reason. Can you locate either 
of her brothers, Charles or William, in that State as ministers of 
the Presbyterian church? If you can, you have established the 
probability of a visit to that State, made by her; otherwise it is 
improbable that she ever made such a visit. If she did visit 
Indiana before writing 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' it was when she 
had no more idea of writing the book than of paying a visit to the 

If this statement could come to the eye of Mrs. Stowe, in the 
spirit world, the shade of Hamlet, which might naturally be near 
her, would be moved to repeat, "Oh, wonderful son, that could so 
astonish a mother." One can imagine her saying: "Is it possi- 
ble he does not know that I lived in Cincinnati from 1832 to 1849; 
and that his uncle, Henry Ward Beecher, commenced his min- 
istry at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, only twenty miles away in 1837; 
and went from there to the Second Presbyterian Church at In- 
dianapolis, where he remained from 1839 to 1847. Is it possible 
he does not know that his uncle Charles was stationed at the 
Second Presbyterian Church of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, from 1844 
to 1851?" 

In reality Mrs. Stowe did not always say that the original of 
Eliza was the woman who was taken from her home to Van 
Zant's. .On the contrary she states expressly in the Key to 
Uncle Tom's Cabin, that the original, as to personal description, 
was a quadroon girl who attracted her attention while visiting in 
Kentucky. But as to the incident of crossing the ice. which 
was a well-known fact, she expressly states in the last chapter of 
"Uncle Tom," in the Key and in the introduction mentioned 
above, that she used the historical incident. She even used the 

114 Indiana Magazine of History 

woman's name — Eliza Harris — which was not her real name, 
but one given to her by Mrs. Coffin, to conceal her identity until 
she got to Canada. 

Indeed, the reference was well understood all through the 
Ohio valley; and Levi Coffin himself mentions it in his "Remin- 
iscences," as follows : "The story of this slave woman, so 
graphically told in Harriet Beecher Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' 
will, no doubt, be remembered by every reader of that deeply 
interesting book. The cruelties of slavery depicted in that re- 
markable work are not overdrawn. The stories are founded on 
facts that really occurred, real names being- wisely withheld, and 
fictitious names and imaginary conversations often inserted. 
From the fact that Eliza Harris was sheltered at our house for 
several days, it was generally believed among those acquainted 
with the circumstances that I and my wife were the veritable 
Simeon and Rachel Halliday, the Quaker couple alluded to in 
'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' " 

The caution of "wisely withheld" names was of no force as 
to Eliza Harris, because she was safe in Canada, but it did affect 
a feature of the story that was almost as remarkable as the 
escape over the floating ice. The man who met Eliza on the 
north bank of the river, near Ripley, Ohio, was not a Kentucky 
neighbor, as described by Mrs. Stowe, but the Rev. William 
Lacey, of Newport, Indiana, an agent of the underground rail- 
road, who started her on her way, over that line, without the 
intervention of the "senator" of Mrs. Stowe's book. The story 
as told completely shielded the identity of those actually con- 
cerned in the escape. 

Possibly Mrs. Stowe never met Levi Coffin, but it is incredible 
that she did not know of "the president of the underground rail- 
road," for he was very active at Cincinnati for years, and finally 
moved there in 1847. Naturally, Mrs. Stowe would put little in 
writing concerning it, on account of the security of both the 
agents and the escaping slaves; but in one of her letters reminis- 
cent of Cincinnati life, she naively mentions "the underground 
railway, which, I may say, ran through our house." Her father. 

Indiana's Part in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 115 

her husband, and her brother, Henry, were all aggressive anti- 
slavery men, and if Henry, in particular, was not in touch with 
the underground railroad, it was the only known thing in which 
he felt a deep interest that he ever did keep out of. It is well 
known that he was a friend of Hiram Bacon, whose house, west 
of Malott Park, was the Indianapolis station ; and, also, that he at 
times stayed over night at this house, and preached at Washing- 
ton Church, which Mr. Bacon had built. 

If Mrs. Stowe visited her brother, Charles, during his seven 
years' stay at Ft. Wayne, she might naturally have stopped at 
Newport, for she would have to pass it in going from Cincinnati 
to Ft. Wayne, and so the testimony of Friend Johnson is quite 
credible. But it is absolutely certain that she visited Henry 
Ward Beecher at Indianapolis, for there are plenty of witnesses 
living who testify to that. Moreover, it is almost equally certain 
that she got her character of Uncle Tom here, from Uncle Tom 
Magruder, a very religious old negro, who was freed by the 
Noble family, and who, with his children, was cared for by 
them here. 

As to the originals of characters, one fact must be borne in 
mind, which was never better expressed than by Mrs. Stowe her- 
self in the Key in these words: "This work, more, perhaps, than 
any other work of fiction that ever was written, has been a col- 
lection and arrangement of real incidents — of actions really per- 
formed, of words and expressions really uttered — grouped to- 
gether with reference to a general result, in the same manner that 
the mosaic artist groups his fragments of various stones into 
one general picture. His is a mosaic of gems — this is a mosaic 
of facts." It is in this feature of the book that its exaggeration 
lies. Nobody would say that a mosaic was a reproduction of 
nature, although every stone in it was natural. In the story, 
a mass of isolated facts, "grouped together with reference to a 
general result" about a small number of people, leaves the im- 
pression that it was a picture of slavery as it existed in general. 
This it was not, but it was an appalling picture of the everyday 
possibilities of slavery, based on actual facts. 

116 Indiana Magazine of History 

The principal characters are also mosaics, as illustrated above 
in the case of Eliza. Mrs. Stowe states in the Key that the chief 
feature of the Uncle Tom character, putting religious duty above 
obedience to his master, was taken from the Rev. Josiah Henson. 
But she had met Henson but once before she wrote "Uncle 
Tom's Cabin," and that was early in 1850, while at her brother 
Edward's, in Boston. She had no knowledge of him in his family 
surroundings; and the Indianapolis claim is that she got the 
material for her personal sketch here, just as she got that for 
Eliza in Kentucky. The nearest a contemporary statement of 
this, of which I have knowledge, is in the Indianapolis Journal 
of February 24, 1857, on the occasion of the death of Uncle 
Tom, and from it I take the following: 

"To those unacquainted with Old Tom, the most interesting 
circumstance connected with him is the probability that he gave 
the name and the leading features of the character to Mrs. 
Stowe's celebrated hero. Of course no one knows that to be the 
case, but there are some circumstances which give it an air of 
probability. The coincidence of the character and the name are 
not much in themselves, but connected with the fact that Henry 
Ward Beecher, during his residence here, was a constant visitor 
of Uncle Tom's, well acquainted with his history, and a sincere 
admirer of his virtues, the coincidence becomes more suggestive. 
We have even been told that Mrs. Stowe herself sometimes 
called to see the old man. 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' too, was the 
name of his home among all of his acquaintances, and was a 
familiar phase here long before Mrs. Stowe immortalized it. At 
all events, we know it is the impression with all the friends of 
Mrs. Stowe, and her brother, in this city, that Old Uncle Tom 
was the original or at least the suggestion of the hero of the 

This opinion appeared in various Indianapolis papers repeat- 
edly, at later dates, and it would be strange, if it were not well 
founded, that none of the numerous friends and admirers of the 
Beechers received a denial of it, which would necessarily have 
broken the universal faith in the tradition. It may be added that 

Indiana's Part in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" 117 

there is another confirmation of it, not noted in the Journal 
article. Uncle Tom had two children, Moses and a girl, Louisa, 
who was considerably younger. But there lived with them an- 
other man, of about the age of Moses — they were all middle- 
aged people when Mrs. Stowe knew them — whose name was 
Peter. He had been a slave of Judge Isaac Dunn at Lawrence- 
burg, and some time after the slaves in Indiana were freed, in 
1820, Peter became lonesome, and Judge Dunn made arrange- 
ments for him to live with the Magruders, whom he had known 
at Lawrenceburg. The family therefore corresponded exactly to 
Uncle Tom's as described in Chapter IV of the book, of Mose, 
Pete and the baby. 

After Uncle Tom's death the children lived for some years in 
a cabin in Wabash street, opposite the present Empire theater, 
but later Louisa was furnished a home, at what is now 454 
Highland avenue, by Mrs. George Frank Miller. She lived there 
till her death, on September 7, 1900, at the age of ninety-two 
years. It is the tradition in the Noble-Davidson family, derived 
from the Magruders, who always confided in their "folks," that 
Mrs. Stowe not only visited Uncle Tom, but wrote part of her 
book in his cabin. This is, of course, incorrect, as it is known 
that Mrs. Stowe did not begin writing the book till late in 1850. 
It is probably based on the fact that she took notes of things 
that Uncle Tom said, for she was at the time writing commonly 
for publication ; and in the winter of 1850, before "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" was published, she wrote to her husband, "I can earn 
$400 a year by writing." Her "New England Sketch," in Hall's 
Western IMonthly Magazine for April, 1834, brought her a prize 
of S50. 

Charles Edward Stowe puts a peculiar negative stress on the 
fact of things happening before his mother thought of writing 
the book ; but every identified fact in the book happened before 
that time ; and every identified character came to her notice be- 
fore that time. Her whole life had been a preparation for it, for 
she grew up in an anti-slavery atmosphere from childhood. She 
had many interesting experiences with slavery, especially during 

118 Indiana Magazine of History 

her residence in Cincinnati, when occurred the anti-abolition riots 
of that city, and the mobbing of the office of Birney's Philan- 
thropist. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" must have been written chiefly 
from experience, not research, for she began it late in 1850, and 
the publication began as a serial in the New Era, on June 5, 
1851. Indeed, she says in her introduction, after detailing her 
personal observation : "It was not for many years that she felt 
any call to make use of the materials thus accumulating." 

In view of all these facts it can hardly be questioned that 
Indiana contributed materially to the making of the book. 



Sergeant of the Ninth Indiana Regiment. 

[The skirmish of which the following- account is given by a participant, 
was one of a series of minor engag^ements taking place at Belington^ West 
Virginia, Jnly 7 to July 12, 1861. Brigadier General T. A. Morris, in his 
official reports, writes of the enthusiasm of the men, their coolness under 
fire, and his difficulty in restraining them. The advance regiments of the 
brigade included Milroy's Ninth Indiana, Harnett's artillery, Stedman's 
Fourteenth Ohio and Demont's Seventh Indiana, of all of which special 
mention is made. — Jamrs G. Randall.] 

THE Battle of Belington ! I never heard of it. Quite likely. 
As a matter of fact, it never found its way into the reports 
of officers, and the newspaper reporters could get no clews to 
found a story on ; and more, it was solely and entirely a battle 
begun and fought to an end by privates and "noncoms," inde- 
pendent of leadership except as some one more daring than his 
fellows, would push to the front shouting to his fellows to 
"come on !" when a rush would be made to support him. In 
short, it was the enlisted men's fight ; with not a commissioned 
officer in the fray except an instance of which hereafter. 

I do not remember the exact date when General T. A. Morris, 
with his brigade, took post at Laurel Hill. The brigade con- 
sisted of the Sixth Indiana, Colonel Crittenden ; Seventh Indiana, 
Colonel Dumont; Ninth Indiana, Colonel Milroy; Fourteenth 
Ohio, Colonel Steedman ; First West Virginia Artillery, com- 
manded by Colonel Barnett. 

The enemy, commanded by General Garnett, occupied a strong 
position, covering every approach to Laurel Hill gap. His posi- 
tion was not only naturally strong, but was well fortified. His 
force was about equal to that of General Morris, in infantry, 
while in artillery it was superior. General Garnett also had a 
battalion of cavalry while we had none at all. It seems that our 
sole object in moving up to Laurel Hill was to hold General 

120 Indiana Magazine of History 

Garnett from reinforcing Pegram at Rich Mountain, against 
whom General McClellan was operating with a force under 

We held the hamlet of Belington, our advance taking post 
well toward the base of Laurel Hill, a peak of which, heavily 
timbered to the summit, loomed up on our right front, and the 
Beverly pike wound around its base and through the gap in 
a reverse curve like a reversed capital S, and then on straight 
through the rebel camp. The writer of this little sketch had been 
inside the rebel camp,' and had pretty thoroughly scouted the 
country on every side of it, and therefore knew pretty well all 
that was to be found out by an outsider, concerning its situation, 
its forces, its armament and defenses. On moving up to our 
position. General Henry S. Benham, chief of staff, asked me if 
I had ever climbed the hill on our right front. I told him no; 
that there was fortification on the summit. There was a rec- 
tangular work of logs and dirt about forty yards square on the 
summit which could not be seen from our side of the hill, but 
was plainly visible from the rear. General Benham, however, 
thought that if the enemy occupied it, we would have heard 
from it at once ; so to make sure, a company of the Ninth Indiana 
(I do not remember its letter, but it was the Logansport com- 
pany), was ordered to make a reconnoisance. They soon dis- 
appeared in the laurel thickets, then the entire brigade held its 
breath for about five minutes, when the summit of the hill 
flamed out in fire and smoke, while volley after volley of musket- 
ry fairly shook the hill itself. 

It is needless to say that our fellows came down out of that 
neck of timber faster than they went up, and that General Ben- 
ham was fully satisfied as to its occupation by the enemy. 

The next day the trouble began. Sharpshooters, located in 
the tops of trees, began to send bullets over into our camps. It 
became exceedingly annoying. General Morris was importuned 
by Colonel Milroy to let him take the Ninth and capture the 
position ; but General Morris had been ordered by General Mc- 
Clellan to avoid' bringing on an engagement. But "1' homme 

The Battle of Beungto^ 121 

propose, et Dieu dispose." It happened on Sunday morning. 
Sergeant Copp, the "fighting parson" of the Ninth, was in the 
midst of one of his fiery outbursts of religious zeal, when suddenly 
from the woods on the hillside came a rattling fusillade, mingled 
with Yankee cheers and rebel yells. Sergeant Copp pocketed 
his Bible, and, grasping his rifle which stood near, was off to 
the woods followed by his congregation as soon as they could 
get their arms. What was left in camp of the men of the Ninth 
was in line like a flash and in three minutes all were heading for 
the hill. But Sergeant Copp was stopped by General Morris, 
as were the colonels of the other regiments, all of whom were 
ordered to sound the retreat and get their men back. Officers 
were sent into the woods to bring the men out. Some of them 
were told to go to H — alifax, while others I fear did not try to 
exercise much authority. 

In the meantime our fellows were getting the worst of it. The 
enemy's breatworks, with the headlogs in place, gave them an 
immense advantage. In the center, or nearly so, of their works 
stood a huge hemlock which towered far above the surrounding 
trees. I ran to Colonel Barnett, of the artillery, and, pointing 
out the big hemlock, told him to depress as much as he could 
with the trunk for a line and give them a percussion shell or two. 
He gave them three. Two of them struck the hemlock and 
exploded. The terrified Johnnies sprang up from behind their 
works, and — well, that was all. They were driven out of their 
fort and the hill was carried in less time than it takes my old 
hand to pen the fact. Colonel Barnett's third shell went over 
the hill and exploded in the midst of a troop of cavalry that was 
just about to start on a reconnoisance of the situation. 

Thus ended the Privates' Battle of Belington. You see, the 
boys had got tired of taking chances under the fire of sharp- 
shooters. Several men had been wounded, one of them a ser- 
geant of the artillery, and so they made it up among themselves 
to drive the rebels out. There were some men from all the regi- 
ments mixed up in the affair but most of them were from the 
Ninth Indiana and Fourteenth Ohio. 

122 Indiana Magazine of History 

The next morning before sunrise, the company flag of Com- 
pany B, of the Ninth Indiana, floated over the fortifications of the 
enemy, who had silently evacuated the position during the night ; 
and by sunrise 'General Morris was in full pursuit to overtake 
them at Carrick's ford. But that is another story. 




THE following- letters are in the possession of Mrs. Grace 
Julian Clarke, of Irvington, Indianapolis, who inherited them 
from Joshua R. Giddings, her grandfather, and George W. Julian, 
her father. They have never been published. 

The letters from Chase are an admirable illustration of his 
voluminous correspondence in the days of the anti-slavery agita- 
tion. It can readily be seen how little confidence he had in the 
possibility of the Whigs as a party doing anything against slav- 
ery, and how he, as an independent Democrat, resented the as- 
signment of pro-slavery sentiment to the Democratic party as a 
whole. He was evidently strongly inclining toward an entirely 
new alignment of parties, which he rather expected to take place 
anyhow in 1844 or 1848, but which did not come till the fifties. 
Giddings in 1842 and 1844 was still working as an anti-slavery 
man in the Whig ranks. 

The Henry Clay letter is of the greatest interest. Clay's let- 
ters probably defeated him in his race, as the nominee of the 
Whig party, for the presidency in 1844. The burning- question 
was that of the annexation of Texas, to which Polk and the 
Democratic party were passionately committed and which the 
Whig party inclined to oppose. Clay, in a letter to the National 
Intelligencer (the so-called Raleigh letter of April, 1844), strong- 
ly opposed the projected annexation of Texas. This letter gained 
strong support from those who opposed slavery and looked upon 
the annexation of Texas as a pro-slavery conspiracy involving 
great injustice. Clay was the unanimous choice of the Whig 
convention on May 1, for the presidency. With the thought, 
apparently, that some Southern votes could be won. Clay wrote 
his famous "Alabama" letters to Stephen F. Miller, of Tuscaloosa, 
on July 1, in which he made the unfortunate statement, "Per- 
sonally I could have no objection to the annexation of Texas," 
and on July 27, in which he added, "I should be glad to see it 

124 Indiana Magazine of History 

(the annexation of Texas), without dishonor, without war, with 
the common consent of the Union, and upon just and fair terms. 
I do not think that the subject of slavery ought to affect the 
question one way or the other." These statements undoubtedly 
threw the votes of many anti-slavery men, which would other- 
wise have gone to Clay, to the hitherto insignificant Liberty 
party, and determined the election in Polk's favor. Some anti- 
slavery men, such as Joshua R. Giddings, in Ohio, and Cassius 
M. Clay, in Kentucky, continued to work for Clay through the 
election and resisted the drift toward the Liberty party. In this 
letter, written in September, Clay shows that he had about given 
up the Liberty party vote and that he was continuing his fatuous 
pursuit of the Southern vote by newspaper articles counteracting 
Cassius Clay's anti-slavery campaign in his support. His recog- 
nition that his own letters were doing damage and his inability 
to resist writing other letters are almost pathetic. 
The Henry George letter needs no explanation. 

(From Salmon P. Chase to Joshua R. Giddings.) 

Cincinnati, Feb. 15, 1842. 
My dear Sir: 

I thank you for your two last very interesting letters. 
The Nation is greatly indebted to you and other friends of 
freedom for the noble stand taken by you in regard to the right 
of petition. The country is beginning to awake at length to the 
danger of slaveholding encroachments, and the time is rapidly 
drawing on, I trust, when the champions of freedom ^vill have 
the place which of right belongs to them in the confidence and 
favor of a long deceived and oppressed, but now awakening 

I think, however, that it will be necessary to go to the bottom 
and plant ourselves upon the rock of fundamental principles. It 
will not do to compromise any more. The principle must be 
established and acquiesced in that the government is a non- 
slaveholding government — that the Nation is a non-slaveholding 
Nation — that slavery is a custom of State law — local — not to 
be extended or favored, but to be confined within the States 

Letters from Chase, Clay and George 125 

which admit and sanction it. I hardly think that the Whigs as 
a party are prepared to take this ground. The most they will 
do is to tolerate liberty. They will, in this quarter, hardly do 
that. They will not do it at all unless attachment to liberty is 
made subservient to party ends and secondary to party obliga- 
tions. There has been something said of nominating Judge 
King by the Whig party. I do not expect it, though he has been 
a distinguished, able and influential Whig. Nor, to say the 
truth, do I desire it. For such is the policy of opposition to 
anti-salvery principle, with many of the Whig party, that thou- 
sands would vote for Shannon in preference to him, while many 
of the Democrats who would otherwise support him, will be 
persuaded that the nomination is a Whig maneuver, and will 
fall back into their party ranks. I would prefer, for one, to go 
into the battle with our own strength. We may be defeated 
now, but at the next election parties must divide on principle, 
and then we must triumph. 

I will send under cover to your address, a number of copies of 
our Liberty Address, directed to various gentlemen in Washing- 
ton to whom I will thank you to have them delivered. Why 
cannot the members from Vermont, who accord in principle with 
the Liberty convention, go home and plant the standard of 
Liberty upon the Green Mountains? I feel confident that the 
State would at once rally under it. Why submit any longer to 
the degradations so long endured? Why consent, at all, that the 
principles and rights of the free States — of the Nation, indeed — 
shall be trampled upon, or if recognized at all, recognized as a 
matter of grace and favor. I am tired of the cap-in-hand policy. 
I am unwilling to feel myself and my opinions to be contraband 
articles in my political party ; only tolerated because not safely to 
be dispensed with. I cannot but think that you and others have 
these sentiments. Why not then act upon them? Excuse me 
if I seem too earnest. It seems to me that there is now a glorious 
opportunity to restore the government to its original principles, 
and I cannot but hope that before the Congress rises you and 
others will feel free to take the position of leaders of the Liberty 
party and issue an address to the people which will be responded 

126 Indiana Magazine of History 

to throughout the land. I verily believe there are multitudes 
even in slave States who would hail such a movement with joy. 
If Mr. Adams could be induced to take a part in it, how could 
his illustrious life be more brightened at its close? 

I have written to him a letter which I enclose. It is some 
years since I have seen him, and he has probably forgotten me. 
He knew, however, my uncle, formerly Senator from Vermont, 
and perhaps also my uncle, the Bishop of Illinois, well. I want 
you to vouch for me and to get for me, if possible, an early 
answer to my letter. It is principally upon the subject of slav- 
ery in the District, and the fundamental principles of the Liberty 
party. It does not, however, suggest any action such as is 
referred to above. It would not be fit for me to suggest a course 
to him. You can converse with him on the subject with pro- 
priety. I should be glad to have you read my letter to him. 

We are organizing our Liberty party in this county, and ex- 
pect to make a respectable rally. 

Faithfully yours, 

S. P. ChasB. 

P. S. Please send the blue book and the census. 

[Note in another hand:] 

(How would it answer for you or some other gentleman to 
introduce a bill for the repeal of the laws sustaining slavery in 
the District of Columbia?) 

(Salmon P. Chase to Joshua R. Giddings.) 

Cincinnati, February 9, 1843. 
My dear Sir: 

I take pleasure in acknowledging your kindness in send- 
ing me a copy of your very able pamphlet. It exhibits with 
great clearness and force the real line of demarcation between 
Liberty and Despotism in this American government of ours. 
The facts which it brings to view are well chosen and most 
apposite. In all that you say in reference to the constitutional 
limitations on the power of the government in relation to slavery, 
I most heartily concur with you. I might depart, perhaps, from 
some of your practical applications of your principles to cases 

Letters from Chase, Clay and George 127 

of fugitives from service ; but this is nothing. The vindication 
of great principles by the clear and masterly argument of your 
pamphlet is a great service to the public, and will no doubt do 
much towards bringing the minds of those who read it to a 
correct apprehension of their rights and duties in regard to 

There are some particulars, however, as to which I wish to 
state my objections. You condemn throughout, at least by 
implication, the Democratic party as the avowed ally of slavery. 
And yet it must be admitted that the principles of the Democ- 
racy, so vociferously proclaimed by every orator on every stump, 
and by every newspaper from every press, are in exact harmony 
with the principles of the Liberty men. "Neither Christianity nor 
Democracy can be pure," says the Ohio Statesman, "separated 
from each other; they are both founded on the love of mankind 
and the immutable principles of equality and justice. Oppres- 
sive, unequal and unjust laws are opposed to both Christianity 
and Democracy." "Equal rights and equal privileges for all 
men" is forever in the mouths of the Democrats. Will you say 
that this is pretence and hypocritical profession? Why not 
rather impute it to the ignorance of the proper application of 
their principles to slavery as it exists in this country, which you 
so justly observe, has hitherto prevailed? Why not hope that 
the Democrats, once enlightened on this subject, will bend their 
zealous efforts to carry out the principles of equality and justice 
in all their practical applications? 

You refer to the fact that a Democratic legislature passed the 
"black act." You notice its repeal, but I do not observe that 
you mention that i t was repealed by a Democratic' legislature. 
You may say, indeed, that a majority of Whigs voted for its 
repeal; but did not a majority of Whigs vote for its enactment? 
And if it be true that Democrats voted for the law, can it be 
forgotten that the most conspicuous and influential member of 
the Kentucky Commission was a Whig? That Mr. Andrew, 
who drafted the bill (for whom, by the way, I entertain very 
great respect and regard) was a Whig? That Goddard, and 
. others as influential and distinguished, who supported the bill, 

L28 Indiana Magazine of History 

were Whigs? And if the passage of the "black act" must be 
spoken of as the act of a Democratic legislature, why should not 
the vote of censure on yourself be spoken of as the act of a 
Whig Congress? I notice that you say that one of your Demo- 
cratic colleagues moved the resolution of censure. You do not 
mention that the resolution was prepared and brought forward 
by a Whig, who voted with you, I believe, on every distinctive 
Whig measure. And let me ask you frankly, do you believe 
you would have been sustained in your own district in the noble 
and independent position assumed by you, had not the Whig 
leaders been fearful of driving your friends into the ranks of the 
Liberty party and thus losing their majority? I have heard that 
many of the Whigs voted for your opponent, and that not a few 
Democrats voted for you. In addition to these Democrats might 
be mentioned a thousand Liberty men who voted for you, so that 
it can hardly be said that your re-election was made a party 
question. Be this as it may, however, I know very well that the 
W^higs here could not be brought to endorse your resolutions 
or approve your course. I made an effort to get up a public 
meeting for that purpose, and counselled with some influential 
gentlemen in relation to it. They were willing to have a meeting 
called and to attend, to censure the action of the majority of 
Congress, provided your course should also be disapproved of. Be- 
cause the consent of your friends could not be obtained to this 
compromise, the idea of a general meeting was dropped. A 
meeting of Liberty men was called, which paid a just tribute 
to your courage and preseverance in maintaining and declaring 
the true principles of the constitution, and uttered a censure on 
the conduct of your censurers which I have no doubt the people 
will ultimately ratify. 

I refer to these things to justify myself and others who are 
charged with want of candor because we will not make — I should 
rather say cannot make — any distinction between the respective 
attitude of the Whigs and Democrats, as parties, to the principles 
and measures of the Liberty men. I readily admit that there 
are many men in the Whig party whom Liberty men should 
honor for their steadfast adherence to principles ; but so long 

Letters from Chase, Clay and George 129 

as Mr. Botts is just as good a Whig as Mr. Giddings, and Mr. 
Peyton is just as good a Whig (if not, indeed, in a party sense 
a much better) as Mr. Adams ; so long as not one of the great and 
comprehensive principles for which Liberty men contend and 
which, as they believe, are indispensible to the restoration of 
sound and permanent prosperity, finds a place in any authorised 
definition of PVhig principles, I must be allowed to say that it is 
unjust in you to charge those who have hitherto sustained you 
fearlessly and unwaveringly, with want of candor because they 
will not transfer your merits to your party by political imputa- 
tion, and that, too, without repentance or the fruits thereof. I 
have not an opportunity of seeing the Whig papers of the State 
generally, but I am informed that your essays have appeared in 
very few of them. Your last was printed in the Gazette of this 
city, except a few paragraphs, which it was probably supposed 
would offend the Whig sentiments of its readers. Your exposi- 
tions are certainly the most clear and able which have appeared 
of the topics which you discuss. Why, if they express the senti- 
ments of your party, does not the party press publish them and 
say so? Why not at least let their readers know that such facts 
and principles exist? 

My dear sir, you will pardon me, I trust, if I repeat what I 
have heretofore said, that I cannot but think that it is the duty 
of yourself and such as you to come out on our side — on the 
side of your beliefs and your principles. I cannot but believe that 
if you. Mr. Adams, Mr. Slade and others would take this ground, 
there might be a nomination of President which in the present 
state of parties would command the confidence of the people 
and receive the sanction of their suffrage. We could carry upon 
our banners not "Northern Rights" exactly, but Constitutional 
Rights, Liberty, Justice, Free Labor. We should not be obliged 
to make promises which the slave power would compel us to 
break or deprive us of the power of fulfilling. We should not be 
compelled to wear two faces, one at the South and another at 
the North. Open, frank and honest, we might hope for success. 
At any rate, we might deserve it. Will you think of this and 
write me? 

130 Indiana Magazink oif History 

Pardon me for inflicting upon you this long letter, and be- 
lieve me still, 

Very truly and respectfully yours, 

S. P. ChasK. 

P. S. I ought to have mentioned, speaking of the notice taken 
here in one or two of the papers (except the Phil.) [the Philan- 
thropist, Birney's anti-slavery, Cincinnati paper] of your course 
in the [illegible] business, that every article approving of your 
position and justifying you fully was, so far as I observed, writ- 
ten by m)^self, and printed, tho' reluctantly, because I requested 
it as a matter of favor to me. 

I should have acknowledged long ago your letter about some 
bankrupt cases last summer. I did as you wished, but neglected 
to advise you of it. No inconvenience resulted, I hope. 

(Henry Clay to Joshua R. Giddings.) 

(Private and Confidential.) 

Ashland, Sept. 21st, 1844. 
My dear Sir: 

Before I received your favor of the 16th instant, I had ad- 
dressed a letter to you which I presume you have since re- 
ceived, but which had not reached you at the date of yours. 

In that letter I expressed my great reluctance on account of 
the necessity arising out of the letter of C. M. Clay, Esq., of 
my publishing my note to the Lexington Observer. I stated 
what I still believe, that there was great danger of the loss of 
four slave States if I left Mr. Clay's letter unnoticed. I stated 
to you also, that I expected a letter which I addressed to Pitts- 
burg would be published, but it has not been, and why I do not 

I regret extremely that state of things which you describe in 
Ohio; the loss of its Electoral vote will I fear lead to the in- 
evitable defeat of the Whig party. Always prepared myself for 
any event, and ready to acquiesce in any decision of the People 
of the United States, I should deplore that defeat less on my own 
account than that of our common country. 

I transmit enclosed a letter in reply to one which you for- 

Letters from Chase, Clay and George 13] 

warded from Mr. Hendry ; but I sincerely hope it may not be 
published, because the public mind is in such a state of excite- 
ment that anything from me' at this time is liable to the greatest 

In certain States, which you can well imagine, it might occa- 
sion us a much greater loss than any gain in your quarter ; and 
I must add that I am afraid all your Patriotic efforts to conciliate 
the support of the Liberty party are vain and fruitless. Their 
course in Vermont, although our friend, Mr. Slade, was the 
candidate there for Governor, and their more recent course in 
Maine, cannot have escaped your observation. Another reason 
for not publishing my letter to Mr. Hendry is, that I have had 
many letters from New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio requesting 
me to forebear writing letters for publication. Notwithstanding 
which I am almost daily importuned to write others. 

I thought that you would be pleased with that part of my 
note, drawn from me by Mr. Clay's letter, in which I state 
that the power over the Institution of Slavery in the Slave 
States is vested exclusively in them. 

I will transmit to you in a few days an editorial article on the 
subject of my three letters in regard to Texas, with which I hope 
you will be well pleased. 

I am faithfully, 

Yr friend and ob't Servant, 

H. Clay. 

The Hon. J. R. Giddings. 

(Henry George to George W. Julian.) 

417 First St., 
San Francisco, Nov. 27, 1879. 
Hon. George W. Julian, 
Dear Sir: 
Your kind note of the 19th received. I value your opinion, 
for I have a high admiration of your services and character, and 
what you say of my book pleases me very much. It is, as you 
say, profoundly religious — not that I am what is called a relig- 
ious man, for I have no formal creed and never go to church — 

132 Indiana Magazine of History 

but that a strong, deep religious idea rises inevitably out of such 
thought. And to me the faith that has thus arisen has been 
and is a great comfort — sometimes inexpressibly so. The book, 
in itself and its antecedents, represents to me a good deal of 
labor and not a little sacrifice, but it has brought at least this 
reward. You will understand what I mean, as you have under- 
stood what in the book some will not understand. I of course, 
do not know your inner life, but I know that to every man who 
tries to do his duty there come trials and bitterness in which 
he needs all the faith he can hold to. 

I thank you for the good words which you tell me you will 
speak for the book. You can do in this way great service. For 
much depends upon first reception, and a book which challenges 
so much that is buttressed by authority, and which moreover 
comes from an unknown man, will of course be contemptuously 
pooh-poohed by the commonplace critic and ordinary routine 
professor. If the book gets a start and attracts attention it will 
do much toward bringing to the front the great land question, 
and giving us something real in our politics. Appleton & Co., of 
New York, have the book in press, and I am anxiously expecting 
day by day that they will publish it. They will then send it to 
the papers and magazines, to whom so far I have not been at 
liberty to send any of the little edition I printed. 

I wished very much to get acquainted with you. and was very 
much chagrined that I missed the opportunity, and especially to 
find that Mrs. Julian had been here while you were absent in 
Los Angeles and when we might have paid her some attention. 
The fault was my own, and arose from a habit of concentration 
into which I got while writing that book, to which it was neces- 
sary. But either East or West, I hope to meet you again. With 
respects to Mrs. Julian, I am, Yours very truly, 

Henry Ge;orge;. 



[These documents are in possession of Mrs. Huntington, of Springfield, 
Illinois, granddaughter of Jesse K. Dubois, and great-granddaughter of 
Toussaint Dubois, of Vincennes. We are indebted to her for permission 
to publish them. — Editor.] 

THIS Indenture made this sixteenth day of December in the 
year One Thousand Eight Hundred & Eleven, Between 
Pickard & Jane, his wife, freed people of Colour, of the County 
of Shelby & State of Kentucky, of the one part, and Peter Hans- 
brough of the County and State aforesaid of the other, Wit- 

that the said Pickard and said Jane from perpetual slavery, 
they having been his slaves and in consideration of what here- 
after follows do Indenture and Bind themselves unto the said 
Peter Hansbrough for and during the term of Thirty Years to 
serve him with fidelity and subjection at all times without ab- 
sconding themselves from service. And we the said Pickard & 
Jane doth make no Exception to render our service or services 
unto the said Peter Hansbrough or Heirs, altho removed to any 
of the United States or Territories thereof. And the said Peter 
Hansbrough doth covenant & agree to use the said Pickard & 
Jane with Humanity and to support & clothe the said Pickard & 
said Jane while performing faithfully their duty as Servants dur- 
ing the above term of thirty years, after which to let the said 
Negroes go free to all intents & purposes. 

In Witness whereof we Pickard & Jane doth freely and volun- 
tarily set our hands and seals hereunto, the day & year above 

Test: Pickard X [Seal]. 

Enoch Hansbrough. 

John Logan. Jane X [Seal]. 

Thomas Bradshaw. 

Samuel Shannon, Jr. 

Truman White. 

Ignatius P. Randolph. Peter Hansbrough [Seal]. 

134 Indiana Magazine of History 

This Indenture made this sixth day of November in the year 
Eighteen Hundred and fifteen, Between Pickard, a free man of 
colour, of the one part and Toussaint Dubois, Sr., of Knox- 
County, Indiana Territory, of the other part, Witnesseth, That 
the said Pickard who is and acknowledges himself to be upwards 
of Twenty-one years of age, for and in consideration of the sum 
of Twenty Dollars to him the said Pickard in hand paid, and of 
Five Hundred dollars good and Lawful money for me, and at my 
special instance and request, paid Tompson Taylor, agent of 
Samuel Oldham, and more especially for the consideration of the 
said Toussaint Dubois, Sr., having set me free and emancipated 
me, from all bondage whatever Hath, and by these presents 
doth, binding self, to the said Toussaint Dubois, Sr., as an In- 
dented Servant for and during the full end and Term of Twenty 
years, from the date of these presents, and that I the said Pick- 
ard, will during the said Term, aforesaid, faithfully, and Honestly 
serve him, the said Dubois, Sr., his heirs, Executors or adminis- 
trators or assigns, as well within the Indiana Territory as there- 
out, and that he the said Pickard will at all times give due 
obedience and attendance, to his or their Lawful business, and 
not at any time absent himself from his master, without his or 
their consent during the said Term. And that he will not at 
any time suffer his property or person to be injured if within his 
power to prevent it. 

And the said Toussaint Dubois, Sr., for himself his heirs & 
doth covenant and agree, to and with the said Pickard, that he 
will at all times, during the said Term of Twenty years, furnish 
and provide him with competent and sufficient meat, drink, lodg- 
ing and wearing apparel, as well in sickness as in health. And 
at the end of the said Term, to give him a freedom suit of clothes. 
Indiana Territory, ss. : 

In Witness whereof the said Pickard, and the said Toussaint 

Dubois, has hereunto set their hands and seals. The day and 

year first above written. 


Pickard X [Seal]. 


Two Indentures op Negroes 135 

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of 

George R. Suluvan. 

James E. Read. 

B. Parke. 

Dubois [Seal]. 

Indiana Territory, SS : 

Be it remembered that on the day of the date hereof, Person- 
ally came before me the undersigned one of the Judges in and 
over the said territory, the above and foregoing named Pickard, 
a man of color & acknowledged that he had voluntarily entered 
into signed and sealed the foregoing Indenture for the consid- 
eration and for the purposes therein mentioned. 

Given under my hand & seal this Sixth day of November, 
Eighteen Hundred and fifteen. 

B. Parke [Seal]. 

Recorded in my office, Vincennes, Knox County, November 5, 
A. D. 1815, Book A, page 269. 

J. D. Hay, Reco. K. C. 


Indiana State Library, Indianapolis 

Published by the Indiana Historical Society 

Christopher B. Coleman, Editor 


The portrait of Major-General Anthony Wayne, painted in 
1796 by Henry Elouis, has been presented to the Historical So- 
ciety of Pennsylvania by Mrs. Joseph Drexel. An excellent 
reproduction of it is published as the frontispiece of the July, 
1911, number of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and 

The Laporte County Historical Society has adopted the plan 
of holding quarterly meetings, at which papers are read bearing 
on local history. The meetings are held in a room of the La- 
porte Public Library. William Niles is president for the year 



[By G. W. H. Kemper, M. D. Illustrated, pp. xxi, 393. Amer- 
ican Medical Association Press, Chicago. Copyright by the 
Author, Muncie, Ind., 1911. $2.50.] 

This book contains more reliable biographical information 
than any book published in recent years relating to Indiana. The 
author is also entitled to the highest praise for confining his bio- 
graphical sketches to physicians not now living, thus avoiding 
the curse of most local histories, the profitable laudatory auto- 
biographical accounts of the men whose vanity makes the his- 
tory pay the publisher. The title of the work, however, does not 
indicate precisely its nature. It is rather a history of the medical 
profession of the State, limited largely to personal sketches. A 
reviewer's first feeling is one of disappointment that a broader 

Reviews of Books 137 

field was not covered by Dr. Kemper. A medical history of 
Indiana, to fully justify its name, should deal with the sickness 
and the health of the people of Indiana. To a layman it seems 
that there is room and material for an interesting work of this 
character. The conditions of life in the State have varied greatly 
during the nearly two centuries of its history ; the health of the 
people, the diseases most prevalent and the generally accepted 
treatment of them, must also have varied. Facilities for taking 
care of the sick, statistics of health and disease, sanitary condi- 
tions, the presuppositions of the practice of medicine, — -these and 
many other things would form valuable parts of a scientific medi- 
cal history of the State. But Dr. Kemper is evidently more 
interested in the doctor than in the patients, and passes them by. 
For this he may be excused inasmuch as he has chosen to write 
a history of the doctors of the State rather than the book which 
the title would seem to call for. But even from his own point 
of view he is to be criticised for omitting a discussion of hos- 
pitals and medical colleges. If the reviewer is not mistaken, 
some of the most interesting medical history of the State is to 
be found in the development of these institutions. Only a couple 
of hospitals and a couple of medical schools seem, in a cursory 
reading, to be mentioned, and to them altogether only two or 
three pages are given. 

Dr. Kemper's book, in fact, is practically limited to notes about 
doctors in Indiana and the practice of medicine as developed in 
the Indiana State Medical Society (or Association, as it is now 
styled). The author has been a member of the State Medical 
Society since 1867, was president in 1887, and since 1900 has been 
chairman of the committee on necrology. To the Transactions 
of the Indiana State Medical Society for 1901 he contributed a 
•complete index of all the transactions from the beginning of the 
society in 1849 to 1900. The present volume is a collection of 
the several articles published in the Journal of the Indiana State 
Medical Association during the years 1909 and 1910 and the 
earlier months of 1911, and entitled "Sketches of the Medical 
History of Indiana." It is accordingly more or less fragment- 
ary and unsystematic, and based too exclusively upon notes from 

138 Indiana Magazine; of History 

the State Transactions, the Medical Journal and the Journal of 
the Medical Association. 

Within the boundaries of the field which he chooses to cover 
Dr. Kemper has done accurate historical work, and a great deal 
of it. Every page bears evidence of patient efforts to secure in- 
formation and a careful sifting of evidence to get at the exact 
truth. A great deal of biographical material and many inter- 
esting points in the medical history of the State have thus been 
brought to light and will be preserved in accurate form. Too 
great praise can scarcely be given to Dr. Kemper in this respect. 
His work is so far superior to that of the average local historian 
that we must not only recognize his reputation as a physician of 
prominence and skill, but must accord him a high place in the 
ranks of the historians. He has preserved in permanent form a 
good history of the medical societies of the State, and has given 
within one cover and in compact, convenient shape, the titles of 
the publications of and the most important biographical facts 
about most of the physicians, not now living, who have prac- 
ticed their profession within the State of Indiana. There are 
some interesting collections of cases given, and full information 
about the achievement which, in the minds of many doctors, 
stands highest in the medical annals of the State, an operation 
for gall-stones, the first of its kind in the world, performed in 
1867 by Dr. John S. Bobbs, of Indianapolis, which fairly gave 
him the title of the founder of cholecystotomy. The respect of 
the non-professional reader for Dr. Bobbs is increased by the 
fact that the patient made a complete recovery and is still living 
at the age of seventy-four. The enthusiastic appreciation of Dr. 
Kemper's work with which Dr. A. W. Brayton introduces it will 
be confirmed by any one who reads it or has occasion to use it 
for reference. We have heard a great deal about the literary 
men and statesmen of Indiana, and we are all glad to know more 
about the medical men of Indiana, and to find that they have 
been an able and a worthy set of men. C. B. Coleman. 

Reviews of Books 139 

NEWTON COUNTY, 1853-1911. 

[By John Ade. Map. 314 pp. The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indian- 
apolis. 1911.] 

Mr. Ade is one of the oldest settlers of Newton county, assisted 
in its organization, and has occupied a prominent place in its 
annals. His son, George Ade, has won a national reputation by 
his writings, but the father turns to literature only after retire- 
ment from active life. As he modestly puts it, "Most of the sub- 
ject matter offered herewith was prepared during 1910 and was 
written, partly because I had been requested by friends to do so, 
but principally because I wished to occupy my mind and fill in 
the time. I am supposed to be too old to engage in actual busi- 
ness, but having been accustomed to constant employment of 
some kind ever since I was twelve years of age, it naturally goes 
hard with me to sit around and do nothing." Local historians 
may well congratulate themselves on Mr. Ade's frame of mind, 
for his history is very interesting and very much worth while. 
Many facts and reminiscences are here brought to light which 
would otherwise have been lost. 

The first chapters give a good account by way of personal 
experiences of early conditions, while the later ones contain 
much information in convenient form about the men and the in- 
stitutions of the county. Lists of county officials, pastors of 
the churches, and towns and additions to them, make the work 
valuable for reference. Altogether Mr. Ade has done a good 
piece of work, and it is to be hoped that this history of Newton 
county will have a good circulation. C. B. C. 


[By T. J. Fitzpatrick, M. S. Illustrated. 239 pp. The His- 
torical Department of Iowa. 1911.] 

Samuel Rafinesque is one of the most brilliant as well as most 
picturesque figures in American science. His peculiarities, and 
the conditions under which he worked, barely prevented him 
from being one of the grccit names in the scientific advancement 
of the world. He is of local interest in Indiana through his 

140 Indiana Magazine; of History 

being one of the "boatload of learning" which went down the 
Ohio from Pittsburgh to Hendersonville, and then overland to 
New Harmony. He did a good deal of botanizing in this State, 
and was acquainted with the leading scientific lights of the coun- 
try and with many public men, such as Henry Clay, who were 
interested in the promotion of science and culture. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick has done a most excellent piece of work in col- 
lecting all available information about Rafinesque. The bio- 
graphical and the bibliographical parts both seem to be exhaust- 
ive and well-nigh definitive. It is one of the best books of the 
kind published in this country. It is well illustrated with a por- 
trait and many facsimiles. 

Of the bits of autobiography included, the reviewer can not 
forbear to give the following, in spite of its length, as a descrip- 
tion of Rafinesque's field work in this country some seventy-five 
years ago : 

"Let the practical Botanist who wishes like myself to be a pio- 
neer of science, and to increase the knowledge of plants, be fully 
prepared to meet dangers of all sorts in the wild groves and 
mountains of America. The mere fatigue of a pedestrian jour- 
ney is nothing compared to the gloom of solitary forests, when 
not a human being is met for many miles, and if met he may be 
mistrusted ; when the food and collections must be carried in 
your pocket or knapsack from day to day ; when the fare is not 
only scanty but sometimes worse; when you must live on corn 
bread and salt pork, be burnt and steamed by a hot sun at noon, 
or drenched by rain, even with an umbrella in hand, as I al- 
ways had. 

"Mosquitoes and flies often annoy you or suck your blood if 
you stop or leave a hurried step. Gnats dance before the eyes 
and often fall in unless you shut them ; insects creep on you and 
into your ears. Ants crawl on you whenever you rest on the 
ground, wasps will assail you like furies if you touch their nests. 
But ticks, the worst of all, are unavoidable whenever you go 
among bushes, and stick to you in crowds, filling your skin with 
pimples and sores. Spiders, gallineps, horse-flies and other ob- 
noxious insects will often beset you, or sorely hurt you. Hateful 

Reviews of Books 141 

snakes are met. and if poisonous are very dangerous, some do 
not warn you off like the Rattle-snakes. 

"You meet rough or muddy roads to vex you, and blind paths 
to perplex you, rocks, mountains, and steep ascents. You may 
often lose your way, and must always have a compass with you 
as I had. You may be lamed in climbing rocks for plants or 
break your limbs by a fall. You must cross and wade through 
brooks, creeks, rivers and swamps. In deep fords or in swift 
streams you may lose your footing and be drowned. You may 
be overtaken by a storm, the trees fall around you, the thunder 
roars and strikes before you. The winds may annoy you, the 
fire of heaven or of men sets fire to the grass or forest, and you 
may be surrounded by it, unless you fly for your life. 

"You may travel over a[n] unhealthy region or in a sickly 
season, you may fall sick on the road and become helpless, unless 
you be very careful, abstemious and temperate. 

"Such are some of the dangers and troubles of a botanical ex- 
cursion in the mountains and forests of North America. The 
sedentary botanists or those who travel in carriages or by steam- 
boats know little of them ; those who merely herborize near a 
city or town do not appreciate the courage of those who brave 
such dangers to reap the botanical wealth of the land, nor suffi- 
ciently value the collections thus made. 

"Yet, although I have felt all those miseries, I have escaped 
some to which others are liable. I have never been compelled 
to sleep at night on the grounds, but have always found a shelter. 
I have never been actually starved, nor assailed by snakes or wild 
beasts, nor robbed, nor drowned, nor suddenly unwell. Temper- 
ance and the disuse of tobacco have partly availed me, and al- 
ways kept me in health" [pp. 57-58]. C. B. C. 


[By John H. Holliday. Paper covers. 70 pp. Indiana Historical 
Society Publications, Vol. IV, No. 9. Indianapolis.] 

This monograph is of value not only to local history, but to 
national as well. It gives an authoritative account of the course 
of the war as viewed from an important, and in some respects 

142 Indiana Magazine of History 

typical, Northern center, and shows with rare insight and careful 
research the effects of the war upon a city which the tide of battle 
never reached, but which was the seat of operations of one of the 
most active war governors, a great war market, a camp for North- 
ern soldiers and for Southern prisoners. In the study of the 
French Revolution the best work now being done consists in 
pointing out the course of the revolution and the economic and 
social life of the people in the provinces and towns outside of 
Paris. An enormous amount of material has thus been accumu- 
lated which enables us to see the revolution in a new and truer 
light. Something of this sort is now being done in this country 
for our Civil War. Without invidious comparisons, it is only 
fair to say that Mr. Holliday's monograph is the best work of the 
kind known to the reviewer in any part of the country. He has 
a personal knowledge of the subject, as he was engaged in news- 
paper work in Indianapolis during the war. To this he has added 
a wide and penetrating reading of apparently all the sources of 
information bearing on his theme. He goes into all phases of life 
in Indianapolis, and, moreover, does not merely pile up isolated 
items of information, but shows cause and effect, and, withal, 
gives us a vivid picture of the city in the exciting days of the 
war. Any historian of the war as a whole will find here a great 
deal of material and sound judgment which cannot but influence 
his own conclusions. In quality and style it ranks with Mr. 
Rhodes' History of the United States from 1850 to 1877 as a 
masterpiece in the field covered. 

As a contribution to local history Mr. Holliday's pages will be 
read with delight by all who are interested in their city and in 
bygone days. There is in them a delicious humor, never obtru- 
sive, always apt. Large affairs and great events are given worthy 
treatment, but the routine of daily life and the fortunes of the 
average man are never lost sight of. There are five chapters : 
The Settlement and Its Life, Religion and Politics, The First 
Year of the Struggle, Rapidly Moving Events (principally 1862), 
The Bitterness and Magnitude of Conflict. All of these are not 
only a storehouse of information, but exceedingly interesting as 
well. Detailed criticism and extended comment cannot be given 

Reviews of Books 143 

here. Part of the material appeared in th'e chapter of J. P. Dunn's 
History of Greater Indianapolis which Mr. Holliday contributed. 
Much of it appears here for the first time. 

The summary of the influence of the war given on pages 594 
and 595 is of interest. "The war was over, but its grim era closed 
upon a new Indianapolis. The quiet town, with its simple life, 
was gone forever, and in its place was the bustling city, with 
new ideas, new aspirations, new ways. Much more than half the 
population were newcomers. As it had changed materially, it 
had changed in other respects. Its life was dififerent. The war 
had brought sorrow to many households and broken up many. 
* * * The alteration in circumstances made a difference, for 
many large fortunes had been made and many families had been 
impoverished or had gained nothing. There w^as more luxurious 
living and ostentation. The inevitable demoralization of war 
had to be reckoned with, and both morality and religion were 
affected. Hundreds of young men had become addicted to intem- 
perance and the general moral tone had been lowered. Extrav- 
agances had increased in many things and was driving out the 
former simplicity. Change was over all." C. B. C. 


[By Robert W. McBride. Paper covers. 39 pp. Indiana His- 
torical Society Publications, Vol. V, No. L Indianapolis. 

Judge AIcBride served from December, 1863, to the end of the 
war in the "Union Light Guard, otherwise known as the Seventh 
Independent Company of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry," organized by 
Governor David Tod. This company served as the bodyguard 
of President Lincoln. Its members had therefore an unusual op- 
portunity of observing the President in his public appearances 
and conditions in Washington during the war. Judge McBride 
was corporal and company clerk, so that he was the logical man 
to prepare this memorial of the organization. His account, "with 
some personal recollections of Abraham Lincoln." was privately 
printed for distribution among the members of the company. It 

144 Indiana Magazink op History 

now appears as one of the Indiana Historical Society publications. 

One of Judge McBride's observations is of special interest. 
After showing the situation of buildings and trees around the 
White House and the unguarded appearances of the President, 
he says : "It can be seen how easy it would have been for an 
assassin to have killed him while he was on one of these solitary 
visits to the War Department, and how little actual protection 
was given him by the guards as they were posted. The evidence 
on the trial of the conspirators showed that they knew of his 
habit of visiting the War Department, and that they had at one 
time planned to abduct him, by seizing him on a dark night, while 
in the shadows of the park, lifting him over the brick wall that 
bordered the south side of the pathway, and hurrying him across 
the Treasury Park to a vacant house belonging to a rebel sympa- 
thizer, where he could be kept concealed in the cellar until he 
could be taken across the Potomac in a boat. The plan was prac- 
ticable, and I have never understood why it was abandoned." 

While the pamphlet does not bear directly upon Indiana his- 
tory, its value and interest are such that it well deserves a place 
in our historical publications. 

Members of the Indiana Historical Society may perhaps note 
that with Mr. Holliday's "Indianapolis and the Civil War," Vol. 
IV of the publications is closed and that Vol. V begins with 
Judge McBride's sketch of Lincoln's Bodyguard. C. B. C. 


Vol. VII DECEMBER, 1911 No. 4 




THE earliest tradition that we have relating to the territory 
now occupied by Irvington is one that is handed down by 
the late Alfred Wilson, a pioneer resident of Warren township. 
According to Mr. Wilson, his father, John Wilson, George 
Pogue and the McCormicks came together from Connersville in 
1819* and located on White river at the mouth of Fall creek. 
John Wilson, who had providently brought with him a half- 
bushel of potatoes, made a clearing, built a shack and put in a 
crop. That summer another arrival offered Wilson $100 for his 
improvements, which was accepted. With this money Wilson 
then entered eighty acres of land lying just west of what is now 
known as Hawthorne Lane. His first home was a double log 
cabin with a covered passageway between, which stood in what 
is now the Butler College campus. It faced an Indian trail which 
connected the Whitewater valley with White river. Soon after 
his arrival this trail became the Centerville road and later the 
right of way of the Pennsylvania railroad. There was a great 
deal of travel to the newly founded State capital along this new 
road, and the double log house became a frequented inn. In the 
early thirties the National road superseded the Centerville road! 
and the Wilsons built a more pretentious tavern on the new 
highway. The house was a ten-room, two-story structure of 
brick, and the materials for it were made on the place. This 
necessitated not only making and firing brick, but also securing 
the lime for their mortar, which they did by gathering bowlders 
of limestone over the fields, burning them in great piles of logs 

*This but illustrates the uncertainties of tradition. The McCormick group came in 1820, 
and George Pogue was not with them. 

146 Indiana Magazine; oi^ History 

and throwing water over them in order to break the stones, thus 
facilitating the process. This house so laboriously constructed 
one year later was partially destroyed by fire, and frame addi- 
tions replaced the burnt portions. One big room in the rear, 
equipped with a huge fireplace, was called by the family the emi- 
grants' room. It seems to have corresponded to the steerage on 
a ship. Mrs. Amanda Caylor, a granddaughter of Alfred Wilson, 
says she remembers many nights when sleeping men, women and 
children completely covered the floor. Mrs. Caylor relates a 
pathetic story of one of these poor emigrants. He traveled alone, 
and, stopping there over night, took suddenly ill and died before 
morning. He had not told his name and carried nothing by 
which he could be identified. They buried him in the little grave- 
yard near by. No trace of his friends or relatives was ever 

John Wilson, who built the inn, died in 1840 and was succeeded 
by his son-in-law, Aquilla Parker, who lived on in the old place 
and kept the tavern. There were fourteen Parker children born 
there, twelve of whom grew to maturity. The advent of the 
Pennsylvania railroad about war time greatly lessened the travel 
by wagon, and the business of inn-keeping fell into decay, but the 
old tavern stood there until the nineties, and many Irvingtonians 
remember it well. 

In 1822 the land from Hawthorne Lane to Arlington avenue 
was entered by Joseph Sandusky and his wife. The Sanduskys 
were a large Kentucky family, who left the South on account of 
their anti-slavery convictions. They first migrated into Ohio, 
where they left a sufficient impress to have the city of Sandusky 
for a namesake. A little later they came westward into Indiana, 
and with true pioneer thrift and courage took up this and several 
nearby sections, where they continued to live until about 1853, 
when they rented their farm to Mr. John Ellenberger, who still 
lives just north of Irvington. Mr. Ellenberger came from Cin- 
cinnati, making the trip here with his family and chattels stored 
in a big wagon. They traveled the old National road and made 
the trip in safety till they turned in at the gate of their new home, 
when a treasured rocking chair, which had surmounted the mass, 

Historical Sketch of Irvington 147 

tottered, fell and was broken. It was not a small loss, for in 
those days such comforts were almost unknown in the pioneer 

The Sandusky home was located on the exact spot where Mr. 
James T. Layman's house now stands. It was built of logs, with 
a basement lined throughout with logs, and a loft above. There 
was also a log house standing where our public school building 
now is. The land Mr. Ellenberger farmed comprised almost the 
whole of the original plat of Irvington. Its boundaries were 
Hawthorne Lane on the west, Arlington avenue on the east, the 
Brookville road on the south and a line just south of Pleasant 
run on the north. His first work was to put a stake and rider 
fence around this big farm. Mr. Ellenberger was a most ener- 
getic and successful farmer. It was he who deprived the north 
part of town of its glory of forest trees, but he did not dream of 
the needs and desires of a future town. He was after fields 
whereon he could grow corn, so the trees were felled. He made 
a great deal of money from their sale, which was the pay he was 
allowed for clearing. It is perhaps fitting to insert here as an 
ofifset that it is to Mr. Ellenberger's care and public spirit that 
we are now indebted for that beautiful bit of woodland, wild and 
nearer its native state than any other in Indianapolis, our new 
park — the Ellenberger woods. In 1858 Mr. Ellenberger bought 
his present farm on East Tenth street and was succeeded on the 
Sandusky place by a man who for many years ran a dairy, having 
his big barns on the site of Sylvester Johnson's present home. 

There are not many relics of those early days. The home of 
Mrs. Amanda Caylor on Washington street just west of Pleasant 
run was built in 1849, and is typical of those old-time homes, with 
its many-paned windows, side lights, big brick fireplaces and 
great, roomy cupboards. The old pioneer schoolhouse was of 
logs and stood on Emerson avenue. Until a few years ago its 
big cornerstones could still be seen just north of the Pennsyl- 
vania railroad. 

At one time there was a little settlement of Mormons in this 
vicinity, and there are still a few old barns which were erected 
by them. These bear a silent testimony to the thoroughness of 

148 Indiana Magazine of History 

the Mormon carpentry, being yet in a state of usable 

Two little cemeteries, the old Parker graveyard back of Mr. 
William Forsyth's, and the Anderson cemetery on East Tenth 
street, bear a partial list of those who formerly lived here. The 
little desolated burying ground just off Emerson is full of graves, 
but there are few stones, and the Anderson cemetery has many 
graves antedating the oldest stone marked by the writer, which 
bore the date 1840. 

There is a vague tradition of the death of a mother and child, 
tenants of the Sandusky family, living in the Ritter avenue log 
house. They were smitten with a sudden, unknown and terrify- 
ing disease, and, dying, were denied burial in the cemetery by 
their frightened neighbors. Mr, Ellenberger, however, kindly 
gave the family permission to inter them on his farm, and they 
lie in some now unknown spot along Pleasant run. 


In 1870 Mr. Sylvester Johnson and Mr. Jacob Julian, of Wayne 
county, Indiana, having accumulated a little money, began look- 
ing about for a profitable investment. They were friends, and, 
after canvassing various projects, decided that the laying out of 
a suburban town would be agreeable and profitable to both. 
Through the late Rev. T. A. Goodwin they learned of this place 
and after looking over the ground and considering its juxtaposi- 
tion to the State's capital, they decided to purchase 320 acres 
from the Sanduskys, paying therefor $32,000. An eighty-acre 
farm just west of Ritter avenue had been purchased a short time 
before by Dr. Levi Ritter, and a little later a land companv 
bought in the old Parker homestead. These various owners 
formed an alliance and concurred in plans to lay out a beautiful 
suburban town. The original plat of the town covered about a 
square mile, running from Emerson avenue on the west to 
Arlington on the east; from the Brookville road on the south to 
a line a little south of Pleasant run on the north. 

It was a pleasant place to look upon in those days. There were 
many beautiful forest trees, broad green fields, and, winding 

Historical Sketch of Irvington 149 

through fields and groves, sundry tinkling little streams, all trib- 
utary to Pleasant run. The draining and grading of the town 
have caused most of the little streams to disappear, but Pleasant 
run is still wending its rippling way through our midst. It was 
at that time considerably larger and well stocked with fish — red- 
eyes, goggle-eyes, suckers and even bass being taken from its 
waters in abundance. In the south part of town were a number 
of ponds, one about a hundred feet east of the present Irvington 
station, affording excellent fishing. It is only in recent years 
that Pleasant run has ceased from riotous overflows, learned to 
keep within her banks and to live thoroughly up to the reputa- 
tion implied in her name. A son of Aquilla Parker relates the 
following story of the origin of that name : A party of govern- 
ment surveyors, along with their other duties, were charged with 
the bestowal of appropriate names on all the unknown streams 
they crossed. When they came to a creek east of here they 
spilled their sugar, and as a memorial to that momentous disaster 
called the little stream Sugar creek. Grassy creek was so denom- 
inated for obvious reasons. Buck creek signalized the shooting 
of a deer at that point. As they forded our dear little stream 
some one remarked : "This is a pleasant little run," and so they 
so named it on their maps. 

The name of our town, Irvington, was bestowed upon it by 
Jacob Julian, who, along with the rest of his household, was an 
ardent admirer of Washington Irving. It is to Messrs. Sylvester 
Johnson, Jacob Julian and Levi Ritter that Irvington people are 
indebted for the unique character of their town. The name itself 
bespoke culture, and the plans were laid to attract people of 
means and refinement. It was to be only a beautiful residence 
suburb and was laid out in large lots, an acre being the average 

Many have wondered why the majority of Irvington's streets 
are so winding. Mr. Johnson says they copied the idea from 
Glendale, Ohio. Mr. Johnson, Mr. Julian and the county sur- 
veyor of Wayne county, with more regard for the artistic than 
for the tired feet of humanity seeking shortest routes, wandered 
in and out, following little creek beds, bending out and around 

150 Indiana Magazine; of History 

to avoid cutting down some of the fine forest trees, and so staked 
out the curving streets for the town. In thus following the 
courses of the little streams the high ground adjacent was re- 
served for building sites. Oak avenue, Mr. Johnson says, has a 
bulge in it for the express purpose of saving a magnificent oak, 
which fact suggested its name. The first street in town to be 
graded and graveled was Audubon road, then called Central ave- 
nue. The two circles on this street make it unique. The circle 
south was designed for a park set out with trees and a statue of 
Washington Irving was to grace its center. The north circle 
Vv^as given to the town with the understanding that a young la- 
dies' seminary was to be erected there within ten years or the 
land would revert to the owner. A fountain occupies the place 
designed for an Irving statue and the home of J. D. Forrest fills 
the circle north. 

The nomenclature of our streets preserves the memory of many 
of those early residents — Ritter, Johnson, Julian, Downey, Oh- 
mer, Graham, Burgess, Rawles, Chambers, were all named for 
men prominent in the beginnings of Irvington. The present gen-^ 
eration in Irvington owe to these men a debt of gratitude for the 
efiFort they made in establishing permanent ideals for a suburb 
of cultured homes. The streets were broad and well graveled, 
trees were set out and zealously tended, not only in yards but 
along the highways ; beautiful homes were built, each surrounded 
by spacious grounds; a large schoolhouse was erected, and such 
overtures made to Butler College, then the Northwestern Chris- 
tian University, as to induce it to remove from Indianapolis. All 
the dwellings of that period are marked by a rather magnificent 
air and still lord it over the more insignificant houses of later 

The home of Dr. Levi Ritter, which stood on the site of our 
present schoolhouse, was the first house of the new town to be 
completed. In 1872 Mr. Sylvester Johnson and Mr. Jacob Julian 
built their homes, costing $20,000 and $25,000, respectively. 
Among the other houses built at that period are the Bradburv 
house, owned now by Scot Butler; the Ohmer house, belonging 
at present to Willis Miller, and the Downey property, now the 

Historical Sketch of Irvington 151 

home of T. E. Hibben. All the old brick residences were erected 
at that time. The George W. Julian home, B. M. Blount's, the 
two large bricks on South Ritter, the Earl house, the bunch of 
handsome residences southwest of the college, all date back to 
those days, as do many of our most substantial looking frame 
dwellings. On the theory that a man is not only known by the 
company he keeps but by the house he builds, these houses are 
certainly indicative of the culture and refinement of that day. 

One of the unique features of the town which has been a factor 
in preserving the highly ideal character of the community is a 
clause which is inserted in the deed of every piece of ground 
lying within its original limits. This clause prohibits the sale of 
liquor on any premises inside the corporation on penalty of its 
reverting to its original owner. This idea was borrowed from 
Colorado Springs and was suggested by Sylvester Johnson, who 
says that the accomplishment of this provision is the proudest 
fact of his life. 

The idea of the place was a taking one, and from the modest 
$100 per acre paid by the original purchasers, in two years' time 
it had increased to $1,000. In 1873 came a great financial panic, 
which swept the whole country, and Irvington did not escape. Its 
capitalists persisted, though woefully crippled. Roadways were 
graded and graveled, the maples which yet line its streets were 
set out and carefully tended, and a handsome schoolhouse was 
built. The promise of the college in their midst served to keep 
up interest, as did also a street-car line being built out by way of 
English avenue. 

In September, 1875, the college building was finished and dedi- 
cated. Almost simultaneously came the completion of the street- 
car line and the inauguration of hourly trips between Irvington 
and Indianapolis. The early capitalists kept up their high hopes 
and also high prices until these last great features to the town 
had been realized, then wealth and prosperity still failing to ma- 
terialize, many of them left town for other places, where they had 
hopes of retrieving their lost fortunes. It has been many times 
asserted that every investor of that day came out a financial 

152 Indiana Magazine of History 

In 1875 practically every house in Irvington was occupied. 
Rentals were high. For a little six-room house containing noth- 
ing in the way of conveniences, and not even supplied with well 
or cistern, $20 a month was asked and obtained. Inside of two 
years there were many vacant houses, and large and commodious 
dwellings could be rented for $5 a month. In fact, through the 
succeeding years there were good houses here where people con- 
tinued to live not even knowing to whom rent was due, for own- 
ership was a mooted question on account of liens and mortgages 
and consequent litigation. 

In Berry Sulgrove's History of Indianapolis and Marion 
County, published in 1884, is the following description of Irv- 
ington : 

"Irvington contains, besides the university, a Methodist Epis- 
copal church building, a handsome depot built by the Panhandle 
Railroad Company in 1872, and fronting on Washington Irving 
Circle stands a magnificent three-story brick public school build- 
ing, which was erected in 1874 and is valued at $20,000. The 
town has a telegraph and telephone station connecting it with all 
parts of the State. The street-cars pass between it and Indian- 
apolis every hour. The town has a postoffice, I. O. O. F. lodge, 
one general store, drug store, wagon shop, meat store and black- 
smith shop, and six hundred and fifty-two inhabitants. The 
Christian church has an organization in the town (membership 
nearly one hundred), services are held in the college chapel." 

The writer can well remember the Irvington of those days. 
The Methodist church was then a struggling organization of 
about eighty members, and its building, a little plain wooden 
structure, was located near Pleasant run east of Arlington ave- 
nue. The college professors served the Christian church people 
in the capacity of pastors. The college was the social center for 
the majority of our citizens. As most families were represented 
there by sons or daughters, they felt free to join in whatever 
social activity it offered. Students were all lodged and boarded 
in private homes, which increased the intimate relation of college 
and town. Seldom, if ever, did the five flourishing college lit- 
erary societies meet without a number of town people in their 

Historical Sketch of Irvington 153 

audiences, and college entertainments were liberally patronized. 
Miss Catharine Merrill's Thursday evenings remain a delightful 
memory to many. Our Sunday-school teachers were recruited 
from the student ranks, and their assistance was counted on in all 
church activities. Thus there were few homes which were not 
permeated with an indefinable college influence which certainly 
made for culture and refinement. 

Commencement week was a gala season, and the college chapel 
was always filled to overflowing for each performance. The 
exhibitions of the literary societies occupied the evenings up till 
Thursday, when the under-graduate address was delivered. Fri- 
day was commencement day, and every graduate read an essay 
or delivered an oration. 

For this festive week most families had guests from abroad, 
and everybody went to everything going on. Even the children 
were interested and crowded the front seats, keen to see and 
hear. The graduating exercises usually lasted all day, and the 
noonday dinner eaten under the trees of the campus, was the 
great Irvington picnic of the year. 

The simple pleasures of home, school, church and friendly 
neighborly intercourse comprised the social scheme. There were 
no clubs, no receptions, no luncheons, dinners or teas, and, iso- 
lated as we were from the city, few entered social life there. To 
go to an evening theater, concert or lecture was only to be ac- 
complished by arduous efforts, as there was no evening car serv- 
ice except on Saturday nights. If a sufficient number of people 
could be interested a car was chartered. Down the middle of 
our graveled roads we walked carrying our lanterns, for then we 
had neither sidewalks nor street lights, and triumphant we were 
carried in our swaying chariot by a pair of little mules to our des- 
tination. It was always a happy, good-natured crowd, whose 
pleasure in the great event nothing could dampen, not even 
alighting in the mud to help the driver get his car back on the 

The "magnificent three-story schoolhouse" mentioned b-"- 
Berry Sulgrove was never altogether finished. At first we had 
only one room, then two, then three, and finally four. Outwardly 

154 Indiana Magazine of History 

it was quite imposing, but within none too comfortable. The 
large rooms, with their very high ceilings, were only imperfectly 
heated by the one big stove. School was not so strenuous then, 
and the changing of seats which were too warm or too cold gave 
variety and spice. Out of doors the whole school ground was at 
our disposal. We had long recesses and noons, and really played. 
In pleasant, warm weather we often had school out of doors, and 
if we did not study nature we absorbed it. 

In appearance the town presented a marked difference from its 
present aspect. The houses were scattered. Yards were sur- 
rounded by fences. Everywhere were long stretches of com- 
mons, over which grazed the village cows, for everybody kept a 
cow, and everybody's cow wandered where it listed. Mr. W. H. 
H. Shank had large flocks of sheep, and these also dotted our 

Such conditions as these existed throughout the later seventies 
and eighties. There was little change in the personnel of the 
community and few houses were built. The piping of natural 
gas to the suburb marked the beginning of a growth in the town, 
which the establishment of an electric street-car line in 1892 
greatly accelerated. The quick and frequent service to and from 
Indianapolis removed the bar which had long kept business men 
from locating their families here. Many homes were built, side- 
walks were laid and streets improved. In ten years' time her 
development was so marked and she had become so attractive 
that Indianapolis was enamored, came courting, wooed and won 
her, and the two were made one. So endeth my story of Irv- 


From The Indianapolis Journal, May jo, i88^. 

[The following address by the late Judge Fabius M. Finch was delivered 
before the Tippecanoe Club in 1885, and is of particular interest as it 
touches the early settlement at "Horseshoe Prairie," near the present site of 
Noblesville, which antedated by a year the first settlement at the Indianap- 
olis site. Judge Finch was for many years an honored citizen of Indian- 

GENTLEMEN of the Tippecanoe Club — Occupying, as I do, 
the middle link between the present and past civilization in 
Indiana, it is proper that my subject should be on this occasion: 
"What I Remember of the Early Settlement of Central Indiana." 
better known as the "New Purchase." 

My earliest recollections of Indiana commenced in 1817, at the 
beautiful town of Connersville, situated on Whitewater river, in 
Fayette, then a border county. The settlements surrounding 
that thriving- village at that time were sparse, and farm improve- 
ments — farming being the sole occupation — were inexpensive 
and the production limited to a few articles of prime necessity ; 
but as the wants of the people were few and the soil exceedin^-i^^ 
productive, their enjoyments of life, as then understood, and the 
ease of living were quite as free as those of their present wealthy 
successors in the valley of that classic stream. 

While we resided at Connersville, I remember as of yesterday, 
an almost universal custom of the surrounding farmers and 
traders, of coming to town every Saturday to buy goods, trade 
in live stock or lands or "swap" horses, hear the news and settle 
up old scores by arbitration, and not unfrequently by fisticuff 
fights. These fights had rules, not written and elaborate like 
those of the modern prize ring, but well understood and bindin-- 
in their authority on all who engaged in the amusement in the 
regular way. No Saturday ever passed, in my recollection, with- 
out most of these pursuits being engaged in, fighting being as 
frequent as either of the others — sometimes simply to settle who 
was the best man in the neighborhood. This manner of settling 

156 Indiana Magazine of History 

a question seemed equally enjoyed by the actors and spectators. 
No arrests were ever made for these fights at that day. They 
were free to all. 

I have seen many a scarred face, and neck, and shoulder, and 
eye, made by the fist, the teeth and the thumb-nails of combat- 
ants in these contests, which men carried for weeks afterwards 
and no questions asked. "Gouging" consisted in running: the 
thumb into an opponent's eye with all one's force, so that the 
eye was frequently started from the socket. Usually the combat- 
ants stripped naked to the waist, and hence biting was made 

In the year 1818 the United States purchased of the Indian 
tribes owning the same the tract of land extending from the 
northern boundaries of Rush, Fayette, Wayne and Henry coun- 
ties west to the Wabash river, north to the Miami reservation and 
south to the northern boundary of Owen and Jackson and Jen- 
nings counties. This land was popularly known as "the New 
Purchase," by which name it acquired a literary fame. In 1819 
it was deemed open to settlement, and its farming lands attracted 

A party of seven or eight families, picked for the purpose, and 
mostly, or entirely, from Eastern States, was formed under the 
lead of my father, John Finch, at Connersville, to make a settle- 
ment in this popular purchase. In the spring of that year a party 
of his sons and others was sent out to locate a site on the prairie 
west of White river and nearly opposite the present town of No- 
blesville, and to build houses, break ground and put in spring 
crops. In August the main body of the emigrants, together with 
their goods and supplies, landed at their new homes, after . 
traversing seventy miles of unbroken forest, over a road of their 
own make, and into a forest where their nearest neighbor would 
be seventy miles away. The location was a beautiful one on the 
western edge of the prairie, around which the river curved in 
such a way as to assume the shape of a horseshoe, and mv father 
in consequence gave it the name of the "Horseshoe prairie," 
which it still holds. 

The transition from village life in Connersville to forest life on 

Reminiscences of Judge Finch 157 

White river was so great that many among the ladies and 
younger members of the colony thought with sad memories of 
what they had left behind and what this lonely forest home prom- 
ised them. But the household cares of the ladies and providing- 
for the numerous wants of their families and the necessity of 
making their crop and taking care of their live stock, and the ex- 
citement of hunting, occupied most of the time of the young men. 
The older ones had no time to be sad. For the first two months 
after the settlement was made the emigrants were on a stretch 
to provide their homes so as to be habitable, and to assure their 
crop. After that they were still more busy fighting ofif the dread- 
ful fevers and agues which began to make inroads into their num- 
bers. So it was literally work or die. The emigrants had not 
fully known nor provided for all the dangers and difficulties of 
the movement. This fearful sickness was not fully foreseen. 
As there was no physician in the colony, nor was one expected, 
a supply of what was supposed to be needed medicines was laid 
in at starting. A general knowledge of their use was known, 
which was supposed to be sufficient. But the diseases were 
more stubborn and difficult than was anticipated, and the supply 
of medicines proved inadequate in quantity and quality. Be- 
sides the science of medicine, if it then deserved the name of sci- 
ence (which is doubtful), was in a very weak infancy, and the 
whole process of meeting the prevailing disease proceeded on a 
false basis. 

The hot August and autumnal sun pouring upon their log 
cabins and decomposing the rank vegetation surrounding them, 
destroyed by their improvements, filled the air with miasma and 
their blood with poison. Chills and fever raged, and according 
to the learning ( ?) of that day these were treated by the most 
vigorous and depleting process, thus reducing the patient's 
strength and rendering him more amenable to the disease, the 
theory being that by weakening the man you weakened the dis- 
ease. His home was rendered more uncomfortable by the my- 
riads of biting and stinging insects which assailed him on everv 
side, by night as well as by day. At night he was serenaded bv 
packs of wolves, howling lullabies in his very dooryard at times. 

158 Indiana Magazine of History 

He met the disease, first, with blood-letting; second, calomel; 
third, jalap, or some other cathartic "to work it off"; fourth, hot 
water and corn meal gruel ; fifth, exclusion from the fresh air. 
The insects he met with a stifling smoke, the wolves with his 
rifle or his dogs, or both. As a relaxation from the vigor of 
jalap, salts were sometimes indulged in, also senna and blisters. 
If the patient persisted in living he was given a decoction of 
barks (cinchona) to give him strength, which had a happy effect 
and doubtless saved many lives. Late in the season of this first 
year frosts acted as a powerful disinfectant and enemy to dis- 
ease, so that by New Year's day most of the emigrants came off 
with a cadaverous countenance and an ague cake in the side. In 
that fall's sickness my father lost two members of his family, the 
victims of want of skill and want of medicines. At one time dur- 
ing that fall's sickness there was but one well person in the neigh- 
borhood of fifty persons, and no neighbors nearer than seventv 
miles. In the second year of the settlement there appeared in 
the neighborhood a man who gave himself the name and title of 
Dr. Guthrie. He was of the true Sangrado type in appearance 
and also in practice, except the hot water. In fact, water or anv 
other drink except gruel, he forbade. The patient was kept by 
him in a close room, bled freely, given calomel or blue mass, 
gamboge, or other cathartics, and after the effects of the latter 
was seen on the patient, he was given Peruvian bark (cinchona) 
in decoctions, and when able to speak, a little gruel made of corn- 
meal to counteract the depletion he had undergone. He was 
then kept in a hot room, under blankets, unless it was thought 
best to salivate him, which was not an uncommon practice. If 
the patient did not die the doctor was eulogized ; if he did, the 
disease got the credit of it instead of the treatment. From his 
substitution of gamboge for jalap — the regulation cathartic — he 
got the name of "Old Gam." He also introduced the spring- 
lancet in place of the time-honored "thumb lance" then in use. 
These innovations on the practice, together with a dried, snuff- 
colored, sub-sulphurous and semi-plug-tobacco cast of counte- 
nance and his ever lugubrious expression of face, had a wonder- 
ful effect on his patients and gave him among them a vivid ante- 

Reminiscences of Judge Finch 159 

mortem popularity. Yet his most fortunate patients were those 
he visited least. 

I would like to pause here and show what progress I have ob- 
served has been made in the science of medicine in the last sixtv- 
five years, but time does not permit, and medical journals have 
done the task more effectually than I could do for general in- 
struction. At that time the settlers found that frost was their 
best friend against disease. Towards the approach of winter it 
was found that the supplies which were brought from the "settle- 
ments" were nearly exhausted, and resort must be had to their 
new resources. Game of every variety, of great excellence, as 
well as fish and wild fruits of every variety were in abundance 
and easily obtained, but how to obtain bread was the problem to 
be solved. The crops of corn and vegetables they had put in 
were abundant, and out of the first of these came the solution. 

The first trial on the ripening corn was made by shaving down 
the hardening grain into thin shavings on a "jack plane," which, 
when well cooked, made a sort of pasty mush, which was eaten with 
milk and sometimes made into griddle cakes, and was quite a 
favorite for a time. When the corn got hard a mortar was made 
by hollowing out the end of a log by burning and standing that 
end uppermost. A pestle was made of an iron wedge fastened 
to a spring pole. In this way the corn was beaten into "samp." 
This samp was winnowed or sifted, and in various preparations 
was used in milk and made into a sort of bread, or used as hom- 
iny is now used, fried or stewed, etc. But as wants increased a 
hand-mill was made out of two flat stones, with surfaces ridsred 
into furrows, and a peg fastened in one side to hold and turn by, 
much after the biblical style. Two, by taking hold of this peg, 
could propel the upper stone fast enough to produce meal as fast 
as three or four families could use it, the other five families of the 
neighborhood having to wait their turn till the next day or resort 
to the "samp mortar." 

These processes were next summer (1820) superseded by a 
horse-mill, which my father constructed and put into operation. 
The stones were made out of the bowlders which then strewed 
the uplands, laboriously hewed and split into the proper shapes. 

160 Indiana Magazine of History 

and with their faces ridged into furrows, so that a fine quality of 
meal was produced to the amount of thirty or forty bushels a day. 
Corn was the only grain grown that year. The next year buck- 
wheat was sown and ground, but with the means of boltim? in 
use a very indifferent quality of flour was produced. The mill 
supplied that neighborhood, and for twenty miles around, until 
after the "land sales," when John Conner constructed a water- 
mill at the lower end of the "horseshoe prairie," which was the 
admiration of two or three counties. 

There was little money in circulation — mostly silver — and the 
settlers had few things which would command money. Peltries, 
ginseng and a few others, besides labor, which was in small de- 
mand. A few articles of prime necessity, such as salt, iron, 
smithwork and a few others. Leather and sugar were home- 
made. Even with money wheat flour, which had to be hauled 
seventy miles over a mud road, could rarely be bought, as little 
was oflfered for sale. Through the profits of his smithshoD niv 
father was always able to command some money, and I recollect, 
as of yesterday, when an enterprising huckster came into the set- 
tlement with salt and some other articles, among them two bar- 
rels of flour, my father bought one of these and William Conner, 
the Indian trader, the other. Nothing happened that season, 
within my recollection, which brought such real joy as did that 
barrel of flour, and none of the richest confections of these days 
of high living bring such enjoyment and gladness as did the first 
"shortcake" made from that barrel of flour. If any of you young 
gentlemen do not know what "shortcake" is, God pity you for 
what you don't know. Its manufacture is now one of the "lost 

In the spring and summer of 1820 the settlement had assumed 
the proportions of a colony, and took an interest in the outside 
world. Among the most interesting of the events to the State 
then transpiring was the location of the seat of government of the 
State. An act for that purpose was passed in 1819-20 by the 
Legislature, then sitting at Corydon, and commissioners to make 
the location were appointed by the act. These met in May, 1820, 
at the house and trading post of William Conner, on White river. 

Reminiscences of Judge Finch 161 

three miles below our settlement, and from thence diverged in 
various directions, examining- supposed eligible sites. At one 
time a strong feeling was shown for the "Bluffs of White River," 
thirteen miles below this city, but the final preference was for the 
present location by a large majority. It is worthy of remark 
that no suspicion of a job was ever entertained against any mem- 
ber of the commission in this selection. Naturally this event 
produced a tremor in our hitherto quiet community, the more so 
as several of the commissioners and their escort visited the set- 
tlement. Among them Governor Jennings is specially remem- 
bered. They were shown the beauties of our location and intro- 
duced to and entertained by the sports and amusements of so- 
ciety. Among these were fishing with the gig, a favorite and ex- 
citing method of taking fish. The Governor was quite an expert 
with the gig (which was used in the canoe then so commonlv in 
use), and made a number of very creditable throws during his 
short trip. 

The great popularity of fishing and hunting among the present 
population of Indiana will justify me in digressing into a descrip- 
tion of these pastimes, which then assumed the dignity of em- 
ployments, to assist in furnishing the family supplies. 

Fish were abundant in White river, even beyond what I shall 
be able to make any one believe now. I have stood on the bluff 
bank of the river, fifty or sixty feet above the water in "the deep 
hole," on the prairie, and seen the surface of the water as far as 
the eye could reach, so literally covered with fish — about six 
inches below the surface — that they appeared to touch each other 
and in many instances did touch ; and this of all kinds of fish, 
from the monster muskalonge to the hated gar, large and small — 
but mostly large — lying together, a happy family, "sunning them- 
selves," as it was called. 

In shallower water these could be taken by the hook, the seine 
or the more popular gig. The hook was considered too slow for 
fun. The fish were so abundant that "no such word as fail" was 
known in any kind of fishing. These fish, it seems to me, had a 
better flavor than the pork-house fish taken in the river now. 

But the "boss" amusement was deer hunting in a canoe at night 

162 Indiana Magazine of History 

by torch-light. Two persons constituted a crew — one to paddle 
and steer, the other to use the gun. The outfit was the canoe 
made of a log, generally poplar, beautifully hollowed and tap- 
ered for speed and safety, a single one-bladed paddle, and a torch, 
generally made of hickory bark, and the gun. These, with the 
gunner, were placed in the front of the canoe, the steersman in 
the stern. Deer in warm weather came to the river at night to 
feed on grass in the water. They could then be free from the 
flies and biting insects which attacked them by day. When the 
hunter sees his game in the water, the canoe is driven directly 
towards it. As they approach the deer the gunner rocks the 
canoe, giving a weird appearance to the canoe and torch, which 
so dazes and bewilders the deer that it stands, its gaze fixed upon 
the strange apparition. The canoe can be run in a few rods of 
it without causing it to move. Instances are related where the 
canoe has been run against them. If the gunner has experience, 
and does not get the "buck fever," he has everything his own 
way. But if, like the deer, he becomes fascinated and dazed by 
the situation, he is liable to see a deer of mammoth proportions 
almost floating in the air, and so his shot is liable to be ten or 
twelve feet above the deer. The crack of the gun, hit or miss, 
breaks the spell ; the deer understands that, and takes his leave. 

The seat of government being fixed upon, the next matter of 
interest was the land sales in the New Purchase. These took 
place in 1821, at Brookville. No public land could be sold until 
it had been offered at public sale. Afterwards it could be bought 
by private entry at $1.25 per acre. If you attend the sales you 
were liable to get your selection at a small advance on that .sum. 
Settlers had made their selections and scraped together every 
dollar possible for the occasion to secure their chosen homes. 
The sales were of great interest, and produced the talk of the 
neighborhood for months in advance. Many who attended 
secured their homes, but some met disappointment. The winter 
ensuing these sales the Legislature, sitting at Corydon, passed a 
law organizing most of the lands in the New Purchase into 
counties, by which Marion and Hamilton counties, as now 
bounded, were included in one jurisdiction, and providing for 

Reminiscences of Judge Finch 163 

the election of one set of officers for the same. These officers 
were, principally, clerk, sheriff, two associate judges, a recorder 
and coroner; and the selection of these officers became the excit- 
ing and agitating subjects for the thoughts and discussion of the 
people, the principal interest centering in the clerk. For this 
office there were two candidates, the late Jas. M. Ray, represent- 
ing the Whitewater party, Whitewater being known as "In Yan- 
der," and the late Morris Morris, representing the settlers from 
Kentucky and Tennessee, known as "Old Kaintuck." The con- 
test was exceedingly warm and spirited, the candidates traveling 
on horseback over the entire settled portion of the two counties, 
and making personal appeals to the voters. Through the influ- 
ence of his old-time friend, William Conner, Mr. Ray obtained 
a decided majority in Hamilton county, and was thus elected. 
Mr. Morris, I believe, led in Marion. In this election, as in all 
others for years afterwards, whisky cut a conspicuous figure. It 
was provided and boldly and openly set out by the friends of 
the candidates, or themselves, in buckets, or jugs, or sometimes a 
barrel head was stove in, and tin cups provided for all comers, 
"and passed around." I do not pause to comment on that prac- 
tice nor compare it with the present. I give the facts, for "such 
was life" then. 

One of the advances in the mechanical arts which has struck 
me most forcibly is the progress made in the last sixty-seven 
years in manufacture and repair of iron and steel tools and imple- 
ments. This progress, I think, is mainly due to a "judicious 
tariff for their protection." Sixty-seven years ago the common 
chopping ax was made at the smith's forge by hand, out of iron 
known as "ax-bar" iron, a large, flat bar of iron four or five inches 
wide by three-fourths to one inch thick. From this bar the upper 
part or pole of the ax and the eye were formed by hand, and 
steel, scantily, for it v/as precious, was put in the lower part, and 
formed the edge. Chains, and horseshoes, and nails, both for 
horseshoes and common use, were hammered out of more slender 
bars, known as horseshoe and nail-rod iron. So was cutlery, 
which was even then made at the common smith shop. All these 
things were made by the most laborious and painstaking toil. 

164 Indiana Magazine of History 

some branches requiring great care and experience. For exam- 
ple, tempering steel tools was a fine art. When properly heated 
and suddenly cooled in water, and again slightly heated, if it 
showed the blue hue of the pigeon's breast by the file test, it 
was pronounced au fait. Making, tempering, handling and 
grinding an ax, required one and a half or two days' work, and 
when done was worth from $3 to $5, a dollar then being worth 
more than three now. So of all the other branches of the indus- 
try of "Tubal Cain, the first worker in iron," from making an 
iron wedge to completing a gun, lock, stock and barrel. The 
necessities of that age and that colony induced the manufacture 
of all that was then required in that civilization. Clothes were 
made out of flax grown on the grounds of the settlers, pulled, 
retted, broken and dressed by the men, and spun and v/oven by 
hand by the women. Wool was raised from the sheep of the 
settlers, and shorn from the sheep, washed — sometimes on the 
sheep's back— and "picked," and was then carded, spun and 
woven into flannels, cloths, linseys, and later into "jeans" by the 

The flannels designed for the use of the women and children 
were colored blue in "dye-stuffs," indigo and something else, or 
brown by the use of various native barks, among them butternut, 
with minerals. The farmers and their sons sometimes in winter 
wore buckskin pants and vests, and I give it as my verdict that 
nothing then or since known is quite as pleasant as a new pair of 
buckskin pants on a cold morning. The blue and brown flannels 
were mostly used for dresses for the mothers and daughters, and 
when neatly made into not too closely fitting dresses, with no 
other attempt at ornament than one or two small tucks or floun- 
ces at the bottom, and worn with a small white rufile about the 
neck, the wearer seemed as well satisfied and was as much an 
attraction and as lovely and as loving as their modern sisters are. 
The bonnest was a modest straw, or calash of chintz — rarely of 
silk — or a sunbonnet of calico or white goods, but each worn 
without more than a single bow of ribbon. It is invidious to 
make comparisons ; and no amount of criticism will ever produce 
a change in the style of dress which has the stamp of fashion. 

Reminiscences of Judge Finch 165 

but it may be well questioned whether there has been any 
improvement in decorating the "form divine" of woman in the 
last fifty years. 

I am not trying to bring these recollections down to a later date 
than 1826, when my father removed from the prairie to Stony 
creek, where he spent his late days, and is buried. What I 
remember since that, and especially since my manhood, "is 
neither here nor there" to anybody. At the period I am speaking 
of, society was in its rudest form of intelligent civilization. The 
ax, and the plow, and the rifle, and the fishing tackle, of what- 
ever form, together with the ruder branches of mechanic arts, 
were the mainstay of the family in the hands of the men of that 
day. And the loom and the spinning-wheel, large and small, and 
the needle, and above all, the kitchen, were the allotment, in the 
duties of life, to woman. Literature, however, was not neglected, 
as most of the families came stored with the best thoughts of that 
time, in books and pamphlets. 

I would like to describe the primitive houses, and house furni- 
ture of that age, but I have already taken too much time and 
need pursue the subject no further. What the privations and 
sufiferings of these men and women procured, we enjoy the fruits 
of now. The reflection to be deduced from these facts is, that as 
all excellence is the product of sufifering in some form — as it 
purifies and ennobles, and strengthens — so we who are the inheri- 
tors of this suffering ought to show an advance in every bene- 
ficial progress of life which has been made since then, and I think 
we do. 



[These "Fragments" are arranged from an unpublished manuscript of 
the late Benjamin S. Parker which belonged to a series of papers by Mr. 
Parker that ran through Vol. Ill of the magazine. — Editor.] 


THE first threshing machine that made its appearance in the 
backwoods of Henry county was a crude, heavy affair of 
wood, with wooden cylinders and concave set with irregular rows 
of iron spikes, and the .gearing a rough combination of wooden 
wheels and iron cogs. It did not separate the wheat from the 
chaff, and these were shaken from the straw with wooden forks 
or rakes. It required half a dozen good horses attached to the 
levers to furnish enough power to run the apparatus, and its 
threshing capacity was thirty to sixty bushels a day. 

The next thresher that I remember was a traveling one oper- 
ated by cog wheels attached to the hubs of the wagon upon which 
it was hauled about. This machine was partially successful in 
cleaning the wheat, but scattered the straw and chaff and prob- 
ably fifteen to twenty per cent, of the grain about the fields or 
along the roads. A great exhibition for the country folks it was 
when one of these threshers, drawn by six stout horses driven by 
a rollicking jehu and fed by an expert with bundles thrown from 
a wagon driven alongside, came noisily down the road on a dis- 
play trip, scattering straw and chaff to the disgust of wayfarers 
and the delight of those onlookers who did not suffer.* 

These clumsy devices did not, perhaps, greatly lessen the toil 
of the farmer, but they were of moment as ushering in the new 
era of labor-saving machinery that was destined to revolutionize 
agriculture. They were certainly a notable departure from the 
primitive reap hook, sickle and flail, and from the old method of 
separating the grain from the chaff by pouring it all together 
from an elevation while two persons fanned it in its descent by 

♦This threshing in transit, the reasons for and practicability of it, are not clear to us. If 
any of our older readers remember the machine, we would be glad to have a fuller descrip 
tion.— Editor. 

Some Pioneer Fragments 167 

a skillful waving of a sheet. When this latter process was 
superseded by the improved fanning mill it was hailed as a great 
innovation and in short order a familiar figure on the country 
roads was the fanning mill peddler with his gorgeous red wheat 
cleaners. With these improvements the statisticians began to 
figure on great profits for those who raised wheat, and their opti- 
mistic forecasts have been justified. 


In the palmy days of the old National road, when the long 
procession of travelers by wagon was moving westward, an ele- 
ment of the panorama to impress itself on a boy's memory was 
that of the Gypsy fortune-tellers, then as now true Ishmaelites, 
picturesque in their vagabondage. Their camps along the road 
or by some little stream near the towns was a familiar sight, 
and their begging, horse-swapping and occult arts were freely 
practiced with both citizens and travelers. The fortune-teller 
had a wider field to work in then than now, for there was vastly 
more credulity, not only among the poor and ignorant but among 
the classes that are now supposed to be superior to it. Gross 
superstitions prevailed, and the mysteries of coffee grounds, palm- 
istry, astrology and all the rest found ready victims willing to 
part with their coins. Women especially were patrons of the 
dark-skinned seeress, and she made a specialty of love, marriage 
and domestic troubles. Yet things were not altogether easy for 
our semi-barbarous vagrant, for the owners of chicken roosts, 
cornfields and potato patches harbored toward him a deep-seated 
prejudice, while his reputation as a child-stealer made him at 
times uncomfortably unpopular. 

In the matter of superstitions the beliefs of the negroes were 
particularly primitive. Among them witchcraft and voodooism 
had many adherents. If a horse tangled its mane and twisted 
it into loops by rubbing in the stall it was thought to have been 
ridden by witches who had made the mane into stirrups. Eggs 
that failed to hatch, cream that would not churn, children that 
suffered from fits, and similar things out of the normal were 

168 Indiana Magazine of History 

said to be bewitched, and certain people, usually old women, 
were frequently under suspicion as the cause. A belief in spells 
and bargains with the devil also prevailed, and some negroes were 
regarded as possessing mysterious powers by virtue of some 
unholy pact. An example of this was old "Tickle Breeches," a 
venerable Senegambian whose reputation as a fortune-teller was 
such that not only people of his own class but fine town ladies 
in their silks paid willing tribute to his art. Besides this he was 
locally famous as a fiddler, and in demand at all the dances of 
his part of the country. A story circulated by himself and more 
or less believed was to the effect that his skill was supernatur- 
ally derived from the evil one, to whom he sold himself one dark 
night in the midst of an assembly of black cats with fiery eyes, 
gathered for the occasion at a lonely crossroad. 

[Apropos to early Hoosier superstitions, we here append two newspaper 
items of curious interest, both published in The Indianapolis News in 1907. 

Greenfield, Ind., April 19. — After four two-inch boards had 
been taken off an oak log, at James Webb's sawmill, a walnut 
peg, an inch in diameter, was found, where it had been driven 
into the log. The peg was a foot long and reached the heart of 
the big log where, it is estimated, it had been driven probably 
seventy-five years ago. At the end of the peg was a coil of black 
hair, long and silken. 

Mr. Webb has endeaverod to learn the history of the log, but 
to no avail. 

Old people of the neighborhood are of the opinion that the coil 
of hair was placed there in accordance with a prevaleilt custom 
of pioneer times. This custom provided that when a man and 
wife could not get along or agree instead of separating, as in 
these days, the neighbors cut a lock of hair from the head of 
each. A hole was then bored in a thrifty tree and the locks of 
hair driven to the heart by a walnut pin. After this it was 
believed the couple would live happy ever after. 

Petersburg, Ind., December 21. — While Omer Lynch and 
Edward Armstrong, east of this city, were in the woods felling 
trees, they cut down a large white oak tree and found in the 

Old Ferry Rates 169 

body evidences of an auger-hole. On close examination trim- 
mings of finger nails and a lock of hair were found to have been 
plugged up in the hole ; a tight-fitting plug preserving the collec- 
tion from the elements. The plug evidently had been there for 
many years, as several inches of new timber had formed over it. 
An old citizen says that in the early days it was a common belief 
that if a person had asthma, and he would take a lock of his hair 
and the trimming of his nails and put them in a hole bored in a. 
green tree, at a height equal to his own height, the disease would 
be cured. 


THE following ferry rates, taken from the Marion County 
Commissioners' records for 1322, applied to the ferry across 
White riyer at Indianapolis. This ferry, which was in use until 
the building of the National road bridge in the early thirties, was 
just below the present Washington street bridge: 

For each wagon and four horses or oxen 62^ 

Each wagon and two horses or oxen 373^ 

Each small wagon and one horse or ox 31 J4 

Each extra horse or ox 12^^ 

Each head of neat cattle 3 

Each head of swine 2 

Each head of sheep 2 

Each footman 6^ 



MR. J. F. WRIGHT, whose long and intimate connection 
with the charity work of Indianapolis made him familiar 
with the "submerged tenth" of the city, has collected into several 
manuscript books a fund of curious lore than touches that element 
of the city's population. Included in this information is a long 
list of slum names that have at one time or another attached to 
various buildings and localities, illustrative of that strange and 
ofttimes happy slang of which the facile American is so prolific. 
One notable fact is that such names were much more numerous 
here at an earlier day than they are now, indicating the moral 
sanitation which may fairly be said to have taken place in our 
community. It is said that Indianapolis is to-day, for a city of 
its size, exceptionally free from slum conditions. Whatever vice 
flourishes here makes at least a show of hiding its head and not 
flourishing itself in the more respectable quarters; but it is only 
of recent years that this boast could be made. A quarter of a 
century ago open dives could be found in the very heart of the 
business district, and Mr. Wright's list shows that these were 
but the overflow of a corruption that had long afflicted the town. 
A notorious wandering family, well named Ishmael, and an influx 
of kindred spirits who speedily became bound together not only 
by common sympathies but by intermarriages, formed at an early 
day the germs of a social disease not to be soon eliminated, and 
these slang names are, for the most part, a reflection of that 

As early as 1835 the "South Side" was distinguished from the 
"North Side," Washington street being the dividing line, and 
this south half of the town was pretty well supplied with gro- 
tesquely-dubbed localities. East of East street and south of the 
Panhandle railroad, peopled largely by Irish, was known as "Irish 
Hill," and was made notorious by the troublesome and bellicose 
nature of the residents there. "Vinegar Hill," bounded by South, 
School and Huron streets, got its acidulous sobriquet from the 
disposition of its feminine residents to advertise one another's 

Old-Time Slums of Indianapolis 171 

shortcomings, this abnormal propensity being so strong, it is 
said, that they even promoted the church militant by praying 
offensively, each against her sisters, at the prayer meetings. "Vine- 
gar Slip," origin of name unknown, was the south end of Missis- 
sippi street, near the rolling mills, and was known to the police 
as a hiding place for criminals. The strip of ownerless ground 
along the river back of the Greenlawn Cemetery, which was long 
used as a public dumping ground, and where people of the poor- 
est class "squatted," patching together grotesque shanties out of 
old boards, scraps of tin and what not, was christened "Dump- 

"Dogtown," near the stockyards, was so called from the vast 
number of dogs that were kept there as a guard against the 
tramps who infested the place. "Poverty Flats" was between 
Mississippi street and the river, extending from the Union tracks 
to Morris street. "Over the Rhine" was over the river from 
Greenlawn Cemetery. Several tenement houses on West street 
near Georgia were known as "Holy Row ;" "The Bowery" was 
Pearl street east of Alabama, and "Gary's Corner" was a house 
on Delaware street where Mozart Hall now stands, which half a 
century or more ago was an abiding place for emigrants and other 
people of the poorest class. "Happy Hollow" was Helen street, 
near Kingan's porkhouse, and Virginia avenue was "Lovely 
Lane," so named thirty years ago by the colored people, v.^ho built 
upon it a meeting house which was labeled "Lovely Lane }.L E. 
Church." The unconscious irony in this naming will be obvious 
to any one who remembers the horrible depths of muck and bat- 
ter that pre-eminently distinguished Virginia avenue before it 
was asphalted. 

Along Washington street were "Barbers' Row," near Black- 
ford ; Steven's "Colonnade," "Stringtown," across the White river 
bridge, so called because of the way the houses strung out on 
both sides of the way, and "Slabtown," west of Mt. Jackson. 
"Greasy Row" was the square opposite the courthouse. 

A particularly unsavory part of town was a strip of territory 
lying along or contiguous to the canal. The "Yellow Bridge," 
originally painted that color is to the present day regarded as the 

L72 Indiana Magazine of History 

gateway to "Bucktown." "Long- Branch," which stood on the 
bank of the classic ditch, was a house well known by name 
throughout the town, and the fame of it was decidedly ill ; and 
the "Park House," of kindred reputation in its day, also stood 
on the canal, near Military Park. "Sleigho," a liquor joint fre- 
quented by toughs, stood near the canal at Eighth street, and 
just over the ditch, which was facetiously dubbed "the St. Law- 
rence," was a similar dive called "Canada." "Chism's Fence," at 
the corner of North and Blackford streets, a resort for the lowest 
class of blacks and whites, was kept after the war by a son of 
infamy named Bob Chism, and a brother in iniquity, Rollo House, 
was the proprietor of a shanty built on piles near the pesthouse, 
known in criminal circles as "The Crib." "The Nest," in the 
same locality, was a similar den. "Lindenbower Station," a cot- 
tage in an alley north of old Fourth street and west of Mississippi 
was, prior to 1878, also a notorious pest hole. Not far from this 
place was "Hoplight Station," an alley corner, so called because 
the beaux and belles of the neighborhood used to congregate 
there and dance of moonlight nights. To prove still farther that 
these were not devoid of poetry and sentiment, a prosaic and pre- 
sumably dirty alley, not far ofif, became "Lovers' Lane." A tene- 
ment row on Court street near Blackford was known in 1877 as 
"The Dirty Dozen," because from these there issued daily just 
twelve dirty looking girls who went to work at Kingan's. 

In other parts of the town "Wall street" was the north side of 
Market street where the Terminal Station now stands, but then 
occupied by negro gambling dens ; "Rag alley" was Columbia 
alley from Ohio to Michigan streets, and "Cockroach row" was 
a block on Massachusetts avenue not far from Pennsylvania 
street. "The Met," "Crone's," "Atlantic Garden," "The Zoo" and , 
"The Adelphi" were low theaters which, at various periods, con- 
tributed their mites to the demoralization of the city. "Dogberry 
Row" designated the dens of "justice" scattered about Court and 
Delaware streets near the courthouse, which, about 1882 were 
infamous for robberies under cloak of the law. People too poor 
and ignorant to help themselves were brought into these justice 
of the peace courts on trumped-up charges and always fined, the 

Old-Time Slums of Indianapolis 173 

scheme being to secure costs. Blackmail was levied on houses 
of ill-fame, which paid weekly sums to prevent raid, and cases 
were often tried by night to avoid publicity and newspaper 
exposure. The constables are said to have all been criminals, 
though why this charge should be confined to the constables is 
not apparent. One other notable colony that belongs to this 
lovely list was "Brickville." "Brickville" forty years ago occu- 
pied a stretch of territory from Woodruff Place east to the Cen- 
ter township line, and from Clifford avenue to the National road. 
It was so named from numerous brickyards located there, and 
the "colony" was made up of the brickmakers, a hard set, many 
of them Kentuckians, who were a law unto themselves and as 
defiant as they dared be of the powers that were — except in the 
stringent winter seasons when, like the untameable red man, they 
would bury the hatchet and come in to the government agent — 
i. e., the township trustee, to be fed. Their little kingdom was 
so overrun with dogs it required considerable courage in an offi- 
cer of the law to venture among them. One man kept no less 
than thirty large, savage sheep-killing brutes, and no one knows 
of him ever having paid any tax. A case that came into court 
illustrates the moral status of these people. A man, being 
offended at his step child one cold night picked it up by the ankle 
and hurled it over the yard fence, breaking its arm. The mother 
approved the act. The child, afraid to return to the house, sought 
to keep warm by huddling close to a calf lying in some straw. 
Finally a next door neighbor came out and got the little outcast 
because, as he explained apologetically in court, "he hated to 
hear it cry and thought he'd take it in." 

These Brickvillians had a social life all their own, and Mr. 
Wright describes the typical Brickville dandy as a compound of 
brilliant colors with red, blue and yellow stripes in his trousers, 
a red undershirt crossed with bright hued suspenders, and a 
gaudy neckerchief, with cowhide boots upon his feet and a broad- 
brimmed brown hat surmounting all. 

"Brickville," by the removal and dispersion of the brickyards, 
has long since ceased to exist as a "center of population," and 
most of the people who are now familiar with that ground know 
nothing of the vanished race that once flourished there. 


[The following account of Professor Larrabee, a once well-known educa- 
tor of Indiana, and the author of a now-forgotten book called "Rosa- 
bower," is of special interest because written by Professor Larrabee's son. 
It originally appeared as a communication to The Indianapolis News. — 

PROFESSOR LARRABEE went to Greencastle in the spring 
of 1841. The town was then in an extremely rough condi- 
tion. There were no streets, but the horse paths and wagon 
tracks wandered about in the lanes marked out for them wher- 
ever there seemed to be the least depth of mud, and the pigs and 
cows disputed for occupancy with human intruders; no side- 
walks except here and there a foot-log laid across a runlet, or 
a fence rail that some one had thrown down into the mud. The 
college stood on a ridge between two deep ravines, on a sort of 
terrace of yellow clay, with no grass or trees around it. 

Very few of the people had found time to attend to the higher 
culture, and manifestations of taste were rare. As a rule, little 
attention was paid to the decoration of yards, and it was some- 
thing if they were kept simply neat. A brilliant exception was 
the beautiful flower garden of Eliza Detrick, on the hill beyond 
the public spring, and back of General Standiford's house, which 
stood where Captain Thornburgh afterward built his mansion, 
now occupied by Mr. Renick. There were other women who had 
a taste for flowers, as we found out later; among them, Mrs. Jen- 
nings, wife of "Squire" John S. Jennings. Professor Larrabee 
had taken with him a selection of the choice flowers and shrubs 
of the day, and some of the people wondered what they were 
good for, seeming unable to understand how a man should want 
to raise anything he could not eat or feed or make something out 
of. They soon took a hint, however, from the newcomer's exam- 
ple, and in a year or two the effects of his zeal in tree and flower 
planting and the decoration of grounds could be observed all over 
the place. This was, I believe, the beginning of the development 
of taste in the community, which, going on continually and accel- 

Professor Larrabbe and "Rosabower" 175 

crated from time to time by other influences, has made Green- 
castle the beautiful and homelike city it is. 

Professor Larrabee had a deep love for nature, which had 
grown upon him during his early life on the seashore and after- 
ward amid the dense evergreen forests and among the steep, 
rocky hills of Maine. Though he became strongly attached to 
Indiana, he craved the familiar scenes of his native State, and 
obtained a large assortment of evergreen seedlings, which he 
cherished with great care till they became large enough to plant 
out, so that he might reproduce one of the features of a Maine 

On one of his lots, just south of the "Rosabower" house, but a 
quarter of a mile from where he was living at the time, was a 
small grove of forest trees, beeches and sugar maples and elms. 
The ground sloped gently toward the spring and the "branch," 
and there was a little patch of bottomland. This he filled with 
tamaracks, while he planted the slope thickly with balsam firs, 
spruce, pine and hemlock. A dear recollection of his childhood 
had something to do with this. Becoming possessed when a 
small boy with an intense religious interest, which proved perma- 
nent and controlled his future life, he arranged in a retired grove 
of fir trees on his grandfather's farm a convenient place to which 
he resorted every day for worship. The memory of this "bower 
of prayer" was revived in Rosabower. 

A large old beech tree, already beginning to decay, stood in the 
middle of the bower. Professor Larrabee fixed a place for writ- 
ing under its shade, and there spent the leisure hours of his sum- 
mer days and did much of his literary work. Under the edge of 
the spread of the limbs of this tree, he laid little Emma Rosabel, 
and thirteen years afterward Mrs. Larrabee; and there, four 
months later, he was laid himself; all to rest there till they were 
removed to Forest Hill cemetery. The old beech tree disap- 
peared many years ago. 

There was no display of art in Rosabower or in any of Pro- 
fessor Larrabee's grounds. The aim was simply to present nat- 
ure in a pleasant aspect. 

The death of his little daughter was a marked event in Profes- 

176 Indiana Magazine of History 

sor Larrabee's history. There had been a May party, with a 
May queen, at the school, in which the whole town seemed to 
be interested. The little girl of three and a half years old was 
very happy in watching the preparations and proceedings, and 
every one enjoyed her interest in them. Almost immediately 
after the party she was attacked with a brain fever, from v/hich 
she died in less than three days. It was my parents' first and only 
bereavement, and drew to them great and wide sympathy. I do 
not think either of them ever recovered from their grief over it. 

It seems to me that the house at Rosabower has been invested 
with more romance than it was ever entitled to wear. It was 
built to satisfy a long-felt want, and the plans were governed by 
individual, and not very practical, tastes. I do not think any 
house like it was ever built in England, or in colonial America. 

The opening of Mrs. Larrabee's female academy marked an 
era in the history of education in Indiana. The need of facilities 
for the instruction of girls was a crying one at the time. I do 
not know what the Presbyterians and Congregationlists had done 
then for this cause, but they could hardly have had schools of 
more than local importance. Outside of these, the principal 
resources for the higher education of girls were the schools of 
Mrs. Tevis, at Shelbyville, Ky., and the Sisters' school at St. 
Mary's-of-the- Woods, near Terre Haute. In 1836 the Rev. 
Smith L. Robinson, a Methodist minister, prepared to start a 
school for girls at Terre Haute, and applied to my father, then in- 
charge of a seminary in Maine, for a teacher. He sent out a 
young woman, a student of his, of suitable qualifications. She 
arrived at Terre Haute in October, ill with measles, and died in 
less than a week. Less than a month afterward, and before an 
answer to his letter announcing her death could reach him, Mr. 
Robinson, too, died, and the projected school was given up. 

In almost every letter my father received in relation to his 
engagement at Asbury University he was urged to bring teachers 
with him, and particularly teachers for girls. He accordingly 
took with him a considerable company of teachers, who found 
employment at various points in the West. Mrs. Larrabee's sis- 
ter accompanied her to Greencastle and opened a school there. 

Professor Larrabee and "Rosabower" 177 

When she was married and went away another tried friend was 
brought from the East, and so the supply was kept up. At last, 
Mrs. Larrabee, urged by the Rev. E. R. Ames, Alfred Harrison, 
of Indianapolis, and others, took in a few young women as board- 
ers and started the academy. The school grew rapidly, gained a 
high reputation and was attended by pupils from all parts of the 
State. It may help to an understanding of what the last clause 
means when I say that it often in winter took two days to travel 
from Indianapolis to Greencastle. A few years after this Ft. 
Wayne Female College was established and the education of 
Hoosier Methodist girls began its course of regular development. 
Mrs. Larrabee transferred her school in 1852 to Jeremiah Ting- 
ley. Its work was afterward carried on by different teachers, all 
competent, till young women were admitted to the university, and 
a special school for them was no longer needed in 'Greencastle. 

The last time I was in Indianapolis one of my old friends said 
to me that the history of Mrs. Larrabee's school ought to be writ- 
ten out in full. I think so, too ; but though I have material of 
exceeding richness in regard to all the other features of my fath- 
er's career as an educator, of which I am just now trying to make 
a good historical use, I have very little about this, and my own 
recollections of the- matter are rather scanty and indefinite. I 
should be glad if any of my mother's old pupils who may agree 
with the friend I have spoken of would furnish what they can 
recollect that might be of use in preparing such a history. If 
they will direct any communications they may have to make on 
the subject to me at 45 Willow avenue, Plainfield, N. J., I shall 
be heartily thankful to them. 

W. H. Larrabee. 
Plainfield, N. J., 1901. 


• [The following interesting and informative study by Mr. V. W. B. 
Hedgepeth was originally published in The Indianapolis News five or six 
years since, we judge, though the exact date is lost — Editor.] 

BY A very opportune find by Principal Riley, of Springfield, 
Mass., the most satisfactory comparison of the school meth- 
ods of our grandfathers' time and of our own was recently made 
possible. While rummaging in the garret of an old school build- 
ing complete sets of examination papers, together with the an- 
swers and markings, all bearing the date of October, 1846, were 
found and are to-day in a bound volume in the ofifice of the super- 

By submitting these questions to pupils of the same age and 
comparing results the school authorities in Springfield were en- 
abled to arrive at some comparison as to the progress or retro- 
gression of the school system, in Springfield, at least. 

Originally the questions were given to pupils of the ninth 
grade, which would correspond with the freshman class of our 
own high school. In order to make the test absolutely fair, they 
should have been submitted to the high school rather than the 
eighth grade. 

The writer often has been called on to dispose of the charge 
that, in general, our grandfathers, as children, were better spell- 
ers and better arithmeticians than the children of our own gen- 
eration. At their best, heretofore, the champions of the old and 
the new have not been able to find any fixed basis for sound 
argument, but have proceeded from their own conclusions, which 
are often colored by personal prejudice. 

December 20 the questions were taken verbatim from the list 
of 1846 and submitted to the pupils of our eighth grade, both 
eight B's and eighth A's. The time consumed in the arithmetic 
examination was, approximately, forty minutes, and in spelling 
about twenty minutes. The questions were given without any 
preparation whatever on the part of the children, without any 
previous notice to teacher or pupil, and without any intimation 

Pupii,s Past and Present — A Comparative Study 179 

as to why the examination was called or any information as to 
the source of the questions. 

The following were the questions in arithmetic : 

1. Add together the following numbers: Three thousand and 
nine, twenty-nine, one, three hundred and one, sixty-one, six- 
teen, seven hundred two, nine thousand, nineteen and a half, one 
and a half. 

2. Multiply 10,008 by 8,009. 

3. In a town five miles wide and six miles long, how many 

4. How many steps of two and a half feet each will a person 
take in walking one mile? 

5. What is one-third of 175>^ ? 

6. A boy bought three dozen of oranges for 37^^ cents and 
sold them for IJ/2 cents apiece; what would he have gained if he 
had sold them for 2^ cents apiece? 

7. There is a certain number, one-third of which exceeds one- 
fourth of it by two; what is the number? 

8. What is the simple interest of $1,200 for 12 years, 11 months 
and 29 days at 6 per cent.? 

In 1846 the average per cent, of correct answers was 29.4. In 
Springfield, in 1905, the average per cent, of correct answers in 
this same examination was 65.5, and in Goshen the average of 
correct answers reached the remarkably high grade of 87.8 per 

Following is the list of words to be spelled: 

Accidental. Eccentric. Hysterics. 

Accessible. Evanescent. Imbecility. 

Baptism. Fierceness. Inconceivable. 

Chirography. Feignedly. Inconvenience. 

Characteristic. Ghastliness. Inefficient. 

Deceitfully. Gnawed. Irresistible. 

Descendant. Heiress. 

It will be noticed that their array is rather imposing and would 
be formidable even to the reader. 

The average per cent, of correct answers in both subjects was: 

180 Indiana Magazine; of History 

1846— Springfield, arithmetic, 29.4; spelling, 40.6. 1905— Spring- 
field, arithmetic, 65.5; spelling, 51.2. 1905 — Goshen, arithmetic, 
87.8 ; spelling, 46.2. 

In 1846 the Springfield school year consisted of forty-four 
weeks of actual school work, each school day containing six 
hours. In 1905 in Springfield the year consisted of forty weeks 
of five hours each day. In other words, in 1846 the schools were 
in session about 1,340 hours; in 1905 the schools were in session 
about 1,000 hours. In 1846 the schools were among the best, as 
they had been the first to have a regularly appointed superin- 
tendent, they were entirely without any foreign, non-English- 
speaking element, had been highly complimented by Horace 
Mann and were under excellent supervision. 

Their course of study was definite, and consisted daily of read- 
ing, writing, arithmetic, geography and spelling. Spelling espe- 
cially was strongly emphasized, as the following extracts from 
the course of study at that time show : 

"Accuracy in spelling and excellence in reading are deemed of 
the first importance. 

"Ability to spell correctly is deemed highly important, as lying 
at the foundation of all requirements, without which no person 
can be accurate or intelligible as a scholar, or ever safe from ex- 
posure to great mortification in after life." 

At the present time in Goshen the school year consists of thir- 
ty-six weeks of five hours a day, making the year contain 900 
school hours. In both cities the children are supposed to enter 
the grades at six years and the high school at fourteen years of 
age. In reality the children who took the examination in 1846 
had been in school correspondingly three years longer than their 
Springfield grandchildren in 1905, and more than four years 
longer than the Goshen children who wrote this examination. 

Nevertheless the pupils of 1905 reached a much higher per 
cent, of effectiveness than their grandfathers of 1846. This is 
shown not only in the total of correct answers, but in reduced 
differences. For example, in 1846 — 

"More than one-fourth of the examples were passed over as 
too difficult to attack, and the incorrect answers were so far from 

Pupils Past and Present — A Comparative Study 181 

the mark as to overwhelm one with the conviction that the chil- 
dren were entirely lacking in power to mentally approximate the 
results. Answers to the fifth example varied from 5 1/3 to 6,312. 
Below are some of the incorrect answers to the problem in sim- 
ple interest — a problem which was worked correctly by only 
thirteen pupils. Dollar signs, decimal points and commas are 
the pupils', the first two conspicuous chiefly by their absence : 

"$87.58.00 ; $93,58 ; $1 14.00 ; $179.80 ; 907.92 ; $937.80 ; $9328.00 
93.28; 96.86; 115.08; 2.15.80; 449.50000; 475.00; 638.00; 932.200 
1860.58; 93.580; 491040; 892800; 31966 2/3; 19080000; 110; 88.05 
4593600; 5587200; 770017400; 11038980000; 72i/^. 

"Less than one-half of the class got the correct answer to the 
first example; fifty had the second correct; only eleven secured 
the desired result in the fourth, and seven — all boys — obtained 
the mastery in the fifth. Of twenty-nine girls, not one had the 
right answer to the fourth or sixth, and only three worked the 
interest problem to a successful conclusion. The girls averaged 
9 per cent, on the test." 

In Goshen only five pupils missed solving the first example 
correctly. The fifth was solved by all but two — both boys — who 
gave as their answers 351 and 526^^, respectively. These appear 
rather large numbers to be one-third of 175^. With reference 
to the interest problems eight pupils omitted it altogether and 
seven solved it incorrectly, all the rest of the class having pre- 
sented a correct solution. The seven incorrect solutions were : 

$25991.80, $3218.00, $896.80, $887.80, $467.90, $978.00, $869.80. 

Out of a total of forty-six who made 100 in arithmetic twenty- 
six were boys and twenty were girls. The whole class of 101 
was composed of fifty-four girls and forty-seven boys. These 
comparative results in arithmetic speak for themselves. 

Equally interesting are the results in spelling. For instance, 
on the old papers the words heiress and baptism were spelled in 
the following ways : 


Indiana Magazine; of History 

































Our own papers show some brilliant flashes of originality, but 
with some differences. In the old papers we find that thirty-one 
pupils out of eighty-five misspelled baptism in fifteen different 
ways. The word heiress was written by forty-three pupils in 
twenty-two different ways. In our own papers we find that 
thirty-one pupils out of 101 misspelled baptism in twenty differ- 
ent ways and nine pupils misspelled heiress, each in his own way. 
The list follows: 





























Notwithstanding the fearful and wonderful ways in which our 
children managed to misspell baptism, we have the satisfaction 
of knowing that with approximately four years' less schooling 

Pupils Past and Present — A Comparative; Study 183 

they raised the total percentage of correct answers from 40.6 to 

When we consider that originally the questions were set for 
pupils who heard English in all their homes, who attended school 
one-third longer each year than now, who had fewer studies and 
hence more time for each, who had been during the five preced- 
ing years under able principals, were in a school in which the 
younger and backward pupils had been taken out nearly two 
years before, and who were of an average age with our present 
high school freshmen, the results of the examinations in 1905 
present to the thoughtful critic a number of very plain facts. The 
results establish the superiority of the modern schools in spell- 
ing and arithmetic. If the test had been set for pupils in Spring- 
field alone this conclusion might be questioned, but it would be 
difficult to prove the incorrectness of it since the pupils of two 
representative schools so far apart as Springfield and Goshen 
show uniformly greater grasp and increased power. 

Nor is it difficult to explain the reasons for the superiority of 
the modern school. In 1846 eleven different books, excluding" 
geography, history and physiology, were read below the high 
school. To-day our children read from seventy to eighty, in cov- 
ering the same course. Our school libraries are filled with books 
that are not only informational but have their substance arranged 
in a manner to stimulate and arouse the interest. These books 
cover a vast range of subjects, and in their reading the child ac- 
quires unconsciously a large vocabulary, an increase of power 
over the spelling of words, larger opportunities and is broadened 
in his sphere of usefulness. 

There can be little question that the school to-day is vastly 
superior in efficiency to the school of our grandfathers' time, and 
in my own mind there is equally little question as to the fact that 
in like manner will the schools of our grandchildren be superior 
to our own. V. W. B. Hedgepeth. 

Trigonometry and Surveying, Goshen High School, Goshen, Ind. 


UNDER date of August 18, 1908, "C. M. G." of Richmond, 
Ind., contributes the following to an Indianapolis paper. 
The statement, it will be noted, involves not only the above cap- 
tion, but the origination of the Republican party : 

Sir — The late Charles Osborne, for years the minister of the 
Friends' Church at Economy, in Wayne county, and an old-time 
school teacher, left a number of carefully preserved documents 
relating to the early history of public movements in this country. 
Mr. Osborne was the direct descendant of Charles Osborne, one 
of the eight men who organized the first manumission society in 
the United States, 

That first society was formed in an obscure Tennessee settle- 
ment in 1815. All of the founders of the society moved to Wayne 
county, Indiana, some years later and very soon after their ar- 
rival took up the agitation of the slavery question. They were 
able, fearless men, who urged the acceptance of their ideas on 
all occasions. They called meetings and invited speakers into 
the neighborhood to discuss the question. They secured pledges 
from men and women to fight the evil of slavery at the ballot- 
box, the women with their influence and the men with their 
votes, and there in the backwoods formed the nucleus of a party 
whose power overwhelmed the country and drove slavery from 
America. These pioneer agitators were the forerunners of the 
hosts who now make up the Republican party, and that party, 
according to the documents left by Mr, Osborne, had its start in 
Perry township, Wayne county, Indiana, 

On the 9th and 10th of November, 1840, an anti-slavery meet- 
ing was held in the Friends' Church in Economy, Charles Os- 
borne was president and John M, Williams secretary of the meet- 
ing, A committee of three, consisting of Arnold Buffum, Daniel 
Worth and Nathan Johnson, the latter the grandfather of ex- 
Congressman Henry U, Johnson, was appointed to propose busi- 
ness for the convention. The committee reported the following 
resolutions : 

The First Manumission Society 185 

"That we recommend to the abolitionists throughout the 
United States to call a national convention of the friends of inde- 
pendent nominations as early as practicable, to nominate candi- 
dates for President and Vice-President for the election in 1844. 

"That we recommend to abolitionists in this State to make in- 
dependent nominations for executive, legislative and judicial of- 
fices, and to withhold their suffrages from all candidates who do 
not make a public avowal of their intentions to advocate a sys- 
tem of protection for the liberties and rights of all men. 

"That five delegates be now appointed to attend a state con- 
vention to promote independent political action, to be convened 
at the time and place of holding the next annual meeting of the 
State Anti-Slavery Society ; and the several district conventions 
are hereby invited to choose a like number of delegates to said 

The delegates were Daniel Worth, Asa Bales, Josiah Bell, Na- 
than Johnson and Micajah White. 

The State convention called for in the resolutions was held at 
Newport, now Fountain City, in Wayne county, on February 8, 
1841. It was organized by appointing Andrew Spillard presi- 
dent and John A. Moorman secretary. The question of forming 
an Abolition party was discussed throughout two sessions and 
finally resulted in a call for a national convention to nominate 
candidates for President and Vice-President, "who will not base- 
ly renounce the fundamental principles of righteous government 
to secure slave-holding popularity." , 

Obedient to the call of this convention a State political party 
was formed in opposition to slavery. Under different names and 
at different times the new party met in conventions and went 
before the people for their suffrages. Finally, in 1860, under the 
name of Republican, the party was elected to power and Abra- 
ham Lincoln was placed in the presidential chair to enforce the 
principles struggled for by the early settlers in Wayne county. 

Touching the question of the Republican party and its begin- 
ning an editorial writer on the paper that published the com- 
munication has this to say: 

186 Indiana Magazine of History 

A correspondent in a communication printed yesterday pre- 
sented some interesting facts relative to the early anti-slavery 
and abolition movement in Wayne county. His statements were 
correct in the main, especially in praising the high stand against 
slavery by the early settlers of Wayne county. But there are 
historical details that do not support the claim for Indiana as the 
birthplace of the Republican party. Indiana joined the Repub- 
lican procession soon after the organization of the party and was 
the home of many men who early espoused the party's principles, 
but it was not the party's birthplace. If that event can be defi- 
nitely localized the honor belongs to Michigan. George W. Jul- 
ian, a native and long-time citizen of Wayne county and anti- 
slavery candidate for Vice-President in 1852, in an account of 
"the first Republican national convention," says: 

"The Whig party had received its death blow in the presiden- 
tial campaign of 1852, but it still had a lingering and fragment- 
ary existence. In Michigan its members had united with the 
Free Soilers and bolting Democrats in State convention as early 
as July 6, 1854, in forming a Republican party and giving it that 
name, and this action was followed soon after by like movements 
in Wisconsin and Vermont. In Indiana a combination was 
formed consisting of conservative Whigs, Anti-Nebraska Demo- 
crats, Know Nothings and Free Soilers. It called itself the Peo- 
ple's party and for three years in succession, beginning in 1854, 
it disowned the name Republican." 

In another place Mr. Julian says: "The honor of taking the 
first step in the formation of the Republican party belongs to 
Michigan." That is undoubtedly true, at least as far as the West 
is concerned. When Oliver P. Morton, originally a Democrat, 
left that party in 1854 and joined the party of which he was aft- 
erward to become the leader, it was known in Indiana as the 
People's party. He ran for Governor in 1856 as the candidate of 
the People's party. The name Republican was not used in Indi- 
ana until at least three or four years after it had been used in 
some other States. 

In referring to Charles Osborne, an early abolitionist in 
Wayne county, our correspondent says his father was one of the 

What Book-L'arnin' Will Do 187 

organizers of the first manumission society in the United States, 
"formed in an obscure Tennessee settlement in 1815." Abolition 
societies had an earlier beginning even than that. There lies be- 
fore us a book published at Philadelphia in 1795, entitled: 

"Minutes of the proceedings of the second convention of dele- 
gates from the abolition societies established in different parts 
of the United States, assembled at Philadelphia on the 7th day 
of January, 1795, and continued by adjournment until the 14th 
day of the same month, inclusive." 

This convention was attended by delegates from Connecticut, 
New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. All the anti- 
slavery men of that day are deserving of credit as men of high 
conviction, but the record shows that the abolition society of 
Tennessee was antedated by many others. The anti-slavery 
meeting at Economy, Wayne county, in December, 1840, is cor- 
rectly described by our correspondent, and was an interesting 
incident of that period, but it had no particular bearing on the 
organization of the Republican party as such fifteen years later. 


THIS gem, the creation of one of our superintendents of Pub- 
lic Instruction, and taken from a State Manual, is not 
exactly in our line, but the latter part of it should be "canned" 
for the benefit of posterity, and we venture to use it as a space- 

"The danger that confronts the adolescent if he comes to this 
period without a body of foundation principles upon which to 
base his conduct and out of which to carve his future career is 
great, indeed, even though great care and patience have devel- 
oped an automatic tendency to right conduct. Even a well-de- 
veloped, well-knit soul-texture and will-plexus might be able to 
appreciate the rationale of its automatic tendency to right con- 
duct when the 'storm and stress period' of life is reached." 


As Described by George Gary Eggleston. 

THE plan was to make the National road a Broad one, after 
the manner of the Romans, whose empire-building methods 
the statesmen of that time had minutely studied. The roadbed 
was sixty-six feet wide. The gradients were so low that a pair 
of horses might haul a very heavy load over them without diffi- 
culty. Every creek was well bridged, and every brook culverted, 
while the surface of the road was made smooth with broken and 
pulverized stone. 

This was in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. When the 
National road had crossed the Ohio and entered the wilderness, 
a far less costly system of construction was adopted. 

The road from Cumberland to Wheeling had cost six thousand 
dollars a mile, without counting the cost of bridges, from the 
Ohio forward into the West, about three thousand dollars a mile 
— and much less as the road advanced — sufficed. 

On the eastern division the road was paved six inches deep in 
broken stone ; every little brook was bridged by a stone culvert, 
and every mile of the road was drained by two deep ditches, one 
on each side of it. West of the Ohio the only work done was to 
clear away the timber, grub up the stumps and dig ditches. There 
was no thought of a stone coating to the roadway, and no thought 
of anything else except to open a track over which wagons might 
be hauled through the mud. 

Here and there in creek bottom lands the road was corduroyed. 
That is to say, timbers were laid upon its surface to keep the 
wagons from sinking hopelessly into the soil. 

In this way, year by year the National road was extended 
westward, and as it was extended, the travel over it increased. 

From Wheeling, in Virginia, it stretched in very nearly 
straight line westward, through Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis 
and Terre Haute, Indiana, to Vandalia, then the capital of Illi- 


MR. DUNN'S attack in the September number of this maga- 
zine upon the accuracy of a paragraph in my article on 
"The Development of State Constitutions" in the June number, 
seems to call for a defense from me. Much of Mr. Dunn's article 
is a general argument for the new proposed constitution. Into 
this, though differing with him on some points, I do not care to 
enter, but will confine myself to the exceptions he takes to my 

The first of these refers to my characterizing the method pur- 
sued in drafting and submitting the proposed constitution to the 
people as a "revolutionary scheme." This he says is "mere 
unfounded epithet, and not an impartial historical statement." 
The scheme is, or rather was, revolutionary because it involved 
the reversal of the best and the strongest tendencies in our con- 
stitutional history, both State and national ; namely, the regard- 
ing of constitution making as a peculiar and most important 
function of the body politic, to be separated so far as possible 
from temporary party politics, and to be intrusted to the ablest 
possible body of men assembled for the exclusive purpose of 
creating the fundamental law. The constitutional convention, 
more than almost any other political institution, has commended 
itself for its representative character and for the ability enlisted 
in it. One proof of the consistent development of this institution 
will suffice. In eleven of the thirteen original States, the first 
State constitution was drawn up by the legislature, but so 
strongly has the current run toward the use of the constitutional 
convention, that since the Civil War out of scores of constitu- 
tions adopted and a larger number proposed, Mr. Dunn is able to 
cite only three exceptions, and those only partially such, to the 
practice of calling conventions to frame State constitutions. 
Starting in the time of the national constitutional convention at 
Philadelphia in 1787, the practice has become practically uni- 
versal. The attempt to dispense with the constitutional conven- 
tion by proposing a constitution through the legislature, a method 

190 Indiana Magazine of History 

practically abandoned throughout the United States and never 
used in Indiana, is certainly, as far as it goes, "revolutionary." 
It is all the more justly characterized as such in that this parti- 
cular legislature was elected with no thought in the mind of the 
voters that it would propose a new constitution. 

As to my statement that the bill submitting the proposed con- 
stitution to the people provides means of counting the Demo- 
cratic party vote as a vote for the constitution, Mr. Dunn's 
claim that it involves "the adoption of a principle of vast import- 
ance" in no way refutes the plain fact that in this particular 
instance the intention was to have the Democratic party endorse 
the measure and have straight Democratic votes counted as votes 
for it. He surely can not think that the scheme was launched 
with the vague idea that possibly the Republican and other 
organizations would officially declare for its adoption. I neither 
asserted nor denied the wisdom of the general policy of making 
constitutions and constitutional amendments party measures. I 
merely summarized the situation as it was. The following asser- 
tion of Mr. Dunn, and his qualification of the exception he admits 
must be taken as evidence of his enthusiam rather than as a test 
of his historical accuracy: "It is safe to say that by the time it 
(the proposed constitution) is voted on, it will have received ful- 
ler consideration than any constitution ever voted on in America 
with possibly the exception of the constitution of the United 
States." ' 

The legislative power of initiative which Mr. Dunn states I 
deny, I denied only with reference to the Indiana legislature 
framing a new constitution and submitting it to the people. The 
argument for this position is too long to give here in full, but it 
may be based upon the theory of the legislature embodied in our 
constitution, and on its detailed description of the function of the 
legislature in proposing amendments, without mention of any 
power to propose a new constitution. The judicial decision which 
Mr. Dunn cites deals with legislation and government under the 
constitution, not to the formulation of a new constitution. That 
the legislature disregarded provisions in the constitution of 1816 
concerning revision, is not proof that it "has the power to submit 

A Question of Historical Accuracy 191 

to a vote of the people any question of fundamental law, if it be 
not expressly prohibited by the constitution." If it proves any- 
thing, it proves too much, namely the right of the legislature to 
submit any question even if it be expressly prohibited by the 
constitution. However, Mr. Dunn's statement that "no vote of 
the people on the question of calling a convention was taken in 
1828 or in 1840" seems open to question, though I have not had 
time to look it up at first hand. Mr. W. W. Thornton, in his 
authoritative article on The Laws of Indiana, in this quarterly. 
Vol. I, p. 27, gives the number of votes cast both in 1828 and in 
1840, and speaks of the question being submitted the "fourth 
time" in 1849. 

Mr. Dunn also takes exception to my saying that precedents 
are against the method used to get the proposed constitution into 
being and before the people. In doing so he rejects the two occa- 
sions on which Indiana adopted constitutions on the ground that 
the conditions then were different, inasmuch as our present con- 
stitution was not in force then. This refusal to accept as prece- 
dents the only direct examples we have for the process of consti- 
tution making in this State is a good deal like saying that a 
change of clothing destroys a man's past. As far as Indiana is 
concerned, precedents call for a constitutional convention, 
because in the formation of both our constitutions the constitu- 
tional convention was one of the most essential elements in the 
whole process. 

In saying that the governor might as well dispense with the 
legislature in this process, as the legislature eliminates the con- 
vention, I was only emphasizing the above fact, and did not ser- 
iously propose, as Mr. Dunn seems to think, that the governor 
assume this power. He is correct in stating that "there cannot 
be shown, in all the history of Great Britain, or of the United 
States, a solitary case where an executive undertook to submit 
a constitution to the people.' The nearest to it that I know of is 
the present case in question in Indiana, where Mr. Dunn himself 
really ascribes the proposed constitution not to the legislature, 
but to the governor: "I feel at liberty to say that to Governor 
Marshall the purification of the suffrage is the chief feature of 

192 Indiana Magazine; of History 

the proposed constitution, and I believe that future generations 
will be grateful for his effort to remove the existing evil." 

My statement that the present constitution "makes no provi- 
sion for the calling of another constitutional convention, nor does 
it make any mention of the possibility of a new constitution," 
is in part admitted by Mr. Dunn and in part denied. I based it 
on the text of the constitution as interpreted by the discussion in 
the convention of 1850. Most of the speakers there carefully dis- 
tinguished between amendments, which they provided for, and 
the formation of a new constitution to supersede theirs, which 
they disliked even to consider. To devise power for the legis- 
lature to propose a new constitution from the grant of "legisla- 
tive authority" and the phrase "the people have, at all times, an 
indefeasible right to alter and reform their government," is in 
this instance stretching the theory of implied powers too far. 

Mr. Dunn further quotes my statement, "If on the other hand, 
the new constitution be, as is claimed by the opposition, not in 
fact a new constitution, but a series of amendments to the old, 
the whole proceeding is plainly unconstitutional," and continues, 
"This claim is a mere verbal quibble." I understand him to 
object here not to my statement of the case, but only to the 
"claim" advanced by the opponents of the constitution who took 
the matter into court. As my purpose is to defend my historical 
accuracy and not to argue against the proposed constitution in 
general, this does not call for discussion in this place. 

C. B. Coleman. 


THE following-, taken verbatim from an old copy of the Ken- 
tucky Gazette, needs no comment : 


Five or six days since my business called me to Danville, and 
thence to Harrodsburgh. Whilst descending the cliff on the 
north side of the Kentucky river, I very unexpectedly encoun- 
tered a being whose strangeness of visage inspired me with the 
most horrid sensations. When I first saw him he was lying upon 
the ground, his tail tied to the limb of a tree about twenty yards 
distant. I would judge it (the tail) to be thirty yards in length 
and about the size of a bed-cord. The tramping of my horse's feet 
started him, and he bounded to the tree, climbing up by his tail 
which, as before stated, was tied to a limb. Recovering some- 
w'hat from my confusion, I advanced nearer the tree, where I 
minutely surveyed his whole appearance. His head was of the 
usual dimensions, and his hair was long and flowing, reaching 
nearly to his waist. His eye (he had but one. in the center of his 
forehead) was almost white, and near the size of a silver dollar. 
His body was covered with hair and feathers and his feet resem- 
bled those of the bear. He skipped with the greatest facility from 
limb to limb, and muttered some unintelligible words in a harsh 
tone. Whilst he was intently gazing at me I rode round the tree 
about four times, his head turning each time with me. When I 
stopped his head was still for a moment, when it wheeled with 
the velocity of a top until it resumed its former position. Seeing 
him about to descend by means of his tail, I put spurs to my horse 
and reached the ferry greatly terrified and nearly out of breath. 

The above statement is sent you at the request of my neigh- 
bors, who will certify to my good character, having resided 
among them for nineteen years. 

Patrick C. Flournay. 

Jessamine County, Ky., January 3, 183L 


Indiana State Library, Indianapolis 

Published by the Indiana Historical Society 

George S. Cottman, Editor 


With the present number the undersigned again assumes, at 
least for a time, the editorial charge of this magazine. Professor 
C. B. Coleman, who for the last four years has faithfully per- 
formed this gratuitous service, is now away on a leave of ab- 
sence from Butler College, Indianapolis, v/here he holds the chair 
of history, and is pursuing his studies in American history at 
Columbia University. In taking over Professor Coleman's task 
a certain unpreparedness on the part of the present vv^riter has 
not only caused delay, but has made impossible as much variety 
as the magazine should present. It has been necessary to de- 
pend over-much, perhaps, on reprints, but if now or in future 
numbers reprints are freely used, the endeavor will be made to 
seek out matter that is valuable and so inaccessible as to be well 
worth republishing. George S. Cottman. 


Mr. John Owens, of Charlestown, Ind., sends us a surveying 
document of 1786, the interest of which is enhanced by the sig- 
nature of George Rogers Clark as party to the transfer of 500 
acres in Clark county to John Holker. The price received for 
this land is not shown. A feature of the document is a rude dia- 
gram or approximate square, the four corners of which are desig- 
nated as K T, K U, L U and L T. The survey reads : 

"Surveyed for George Rogers Clark, 500 acres of land in the 
Illinois Grant No. 229, being part of his claim allowed by the 
Board of Commrs. Beginning at K T, a beech, the west corner 

Editorial 195 

of ano[ther] survey of said Clark's No. 212, running thence with 
a line of said other survey No. 50 E. 266 2/3 poles, crossing two 
branches, waters of 14 Mile creek, to K U, a beech ; thence with 
a line of Henry Floyd's survey No. 230 N. 40 W. 300 poles, cross- 
ing a branch, to L U, a poplar; thence S. 50 W. 266 2/3 poles to 
L T, an elm ; thence with a line of Richard McCarty's survey 
No. 228 S. 40 E. 300 poles, crossing a branch, to the beginning. 

"Edm'nd Rogers,, Asst. S. 
"W. Clarke, P. S. 
"Recorded & Exd. 1st March, 1786." 

On the reverse side of the sheet is written : 

"I do hereby assign all my Rights and Interest to and in the 

within mentioned Lands to John Holker, his heirs & assigns, and 

desire that a Deed may be issued for them in his name. 

"G. R. Clark. 
"Test: BucKNER T. Thurston. " 


A copy of The Western Ploughboy that has come into our pos- 
session is of interest owing to its rarity. The Ploughboy, edited 
by G. W. Osborn, was published in Greencastle, Indiana, and this 
copy bears the date of June 23, 1836, it being Vol. II, No. 36. It 
has the customary four-page form and is printed on a 22 x 32 
sheet. As is usual with the early papers, there is very little in the 
way of local news, the chief item being a smallpox scare of suffi- 
cient moment to cause a public meeting and the creation of a 
board of health. This board had for its members Doctors A. C. 
Stevenson, S. J. Scott, William E. Talbott and T. W. Cowgill, 
together with John Thornburg, Silas Jones, John Standiford, and 
John W. Osborn. It was requested of it to "enjoin upon our 
fellow-citizens generally the necessity of vaccination." Names of 
other local citizens mentioned in connection with Fourth of July 
arrangements are : William H. Shields, F. B. Amsden, William 
B. Gwathmey, William ]\I. C. Blake, J. W. Lyon, John Cowgill, 
Thomas Robinson, James M. Grooms, Amasa Johnson, Westley 

196 ' Indiana Magazine of History 

White, Isaac Ash and L. B. Marshall. In the advertising col- 
umns we find Allison & Robinson, David Eagon, James Gore 
and Silas Jones & Co., merchants ; Robert M. Wingate, cabinet- 
maker and house joiner; William H. Cooper, saddler; Taylor & 
Dicks, tailors; Milton F. Barlow, hatter; P. S. Wilson and John 
N. Hart, proprietors of the Bell Tavern ; Dr. Scott, and Edwin 
Heath, 'Jacob Durham, J. H. Lucas, James Johnson, Reuben 
Wright, justices of the peace for Putnam county. Most of these 
latter officials advertise stray horses taken up, indicating the trou- 
bles of the pioneers in this regard in the days of large range and 
few fences. 

The ubiquitous candidate is, of course, in evidence, and in a 
long communication James Nasler, would-be legislator, sets forth 
his views on the subject of internal improvement. In the 
internal improvement of the State Mr. Nasler sees glorious pos- 
sibilities, and these as he sets them forth in detail, sound rather 
amusing in the light of subsequent experience. There is also an 
allusion to the removal of the county seat from Greencastle, 
showing that there had been some agitation of the question. 

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